In an interesting update where the Division Bench of Bombay High Court in Vibhuti Amarnath Agrawal v State of Maharashtra had held that for admission to law colleges in Maharashtra, consent/approval from Bar Council of India (BCI) was not required and that the admission process must be completed within the time schedule as fixed by the concerned University, the Supreme Court has declined to transfer the case to itself under Article 139A of the Constitution.
Earlier, the Bench comprising of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G.S.Kulkarni in its order dated 20.04.2017 had noted that a Transfer Petition was filed by the BCI before the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the case to the Supreme Court. However, vide order dated 28.04.2017, the Supreme Court through Justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta has dismissed the Transfer Petition so filed. (TP Civil 672/16)
Interestingly, the Supreme Court is closing for summer vacations after 09.05.2017 and as per the registry circular only matters registered and numbered upto 05.05.2017 can be taken for hearing. Further as the Supreme Court has refused to transfer the case to itself, it will be interesting to see if Supreme Court will interfere again and whether in absence of stay from an appellate court, the BCI will lose its control on inspection of law colleges. The order passed by the Bombay High Court effectively curbs the power of BCI to inspect law colleges and grant them approval to run law courses. Last year, the then associate managing trustee Rajinder Singh Rana, former BCI vice chairman Raju Dhanpal Raj and ex-BCI-member Milan Kumar Dey were sentenced to five years imprisonment and a fine for taking a Rs 6 lakh bribe to approve Global Law College in Ghaziabad.
Read the Order here.