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Plea For Adjustment Of Savings Of Law Schools Amid Pandemic On Electricity, Maintenance Towards Fees: SC Asks Petitioner To Approach BCI

Mehal Jain
12 Jan 2021 9:01 AM GMT
Plea For Adjustment Of Savings Of Law Schools Amid Pandemic On Electricity, Maintenance Towards Fees: SC Asks Petitioner To Approach BCI
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Looking to the BCI circular of July 27, 2020 recommending that the centres of legal education proportionally adjust their savings on electricity and maintenance of infrastructure amid the pandemic in the fee charged, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the BCI with appropriate prayers for the body to take such action as it may deem fit.The bench headed...

Looking to the BCI circular of July 27, 2020 recommending that the centres of legal education proportionally adjust their savings on electricity and maintenance of infrastructure amid the pandemic in the fee charged, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the BCI with appropriate prayers for the body to take such action as it may deem fit.

The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing an application by petitioner-in-person Rauf Rahim for recall of the court's order dated September 17, 2020 directing the petitioner-law student, seeking directions to the BCI and the UGC to issue a circular mandating Universities and institutions across India to provide a reasonable time period for payment of fees by students as well as explore all grievances made by them through adoption of a common redressal mechanism, to approach the High Court.
"Amid the pandemic, many have been laid-off, many have been offered reduced salaries, businesses have become loss-making ventures. Some concessions are needed. Lakhs of parents are affected, at least 10 lakh students are affected. There is financial distress, mental trauma, suicides, parents are in difficulty, many have had to take loans! The circular has to be implemented in letter and spirit! Please recall the 17.9.2020 order!", prayed Mr. Rahim.
"And I am not just on the BCI...doctors have had to sell off their flats. So the MCI should also step up! And so should other statutory bodies!", he pleaded.
"It is an advisory by the BCI (the circular of 27.7.2020). There is no question of implementation. The advisory was to all legal education institutions. If some don't reduce the fee, what is the remedy? Some colleges may have even reduced the fee. We can't go into the factual matrix under Article 32", said Justice Bhushan.
The petitioner then drew the bench's attention to a November, 2020 order on a writ petition filed by law student Gursimran Singh Narula seeking complete ban on sanitisation tunnels being used across the country to disinfect entrants of a public place/ premises. He had sought a ban on spraying of all kinds of disinfectants on human beings which is being done supposedly for protecting the human beings from COVID. "The Pandemic being a disaster within the meaning of Act, 2005, has to be dealt with sternly and effectively. We have no doubt that the Union and the States are taking all measures to contain the pandemic and all mitigating steps but the facts which have been brought on record in this writ petition indicate that in the present case, something more was required to be done by respondent No.1 apart from issuing advisory that use of disinfectant on human body is not recommended", the court had observed in that case.
"Make a representation before the BCI to appropriate action in the spirit of the advisory. It is the statutory body set up To regulate such affairs. BCI will take a call", continued Justice Bhushan on Tuesday.
Mr. Rahim pointed out that soon after the advisory was issued, on 18.9.2020, he had written a letter to the BCI but no steps have come to be taken in the past 4 months. "The legal education institutions did not take appropriate measures in the spirit of the advisory", noted the bench in its order.
"Now, we will specifically pass directions. That will help you", said the bench.
Not deeming the recall of the 17.9.2020 order appropriate, the bench proceeded to dispose off the application with liberty to Mr. Rauf to approach the BCI.
By a circular of July 27, 2020, the BCI recommended that the centres of legal education proportionally adjust their savings on electricity and maintenance of infrastructure (which expenses they would have otherwise incurred if physical classes had continued as normal) amid the pandemic in the fee being charged.
[Read Order]



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