‘Intervention of the court in our perception will be justified only if, a lesser standard is prescribed by the State or the University, than what is prescribed as the minimum standard by the Bar Council’
The Kerala High Court has observed that State or University can prescribe higher standards of eligibility admission to LL.B. Courses, than that prescribed by Bar Council of India.
The bench comprising of the Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar were considering a writ appeal filed by a student who was disqualified from pursuing LLB Course, because he had scored less than 45% prescribed by the University. According to him, as per rule 5 of the Legal Education Rules, 2008 framed by the Bar Council of India as it stood then, a candidate who has graduated in any discipline of knowledge from a recognized University is entitled for admission to 3 year LL.B course. The single bench had dismissed his writ petition.
The bench observed that the object of the State or the University in fixing eligibility criteria higher than those fixed by the Bar Council is for maintaining excellence in higher education and ensure that there is no deterioration in the quality of students pursuing professional courses like LL.B and to enable the State to shortlist the applicants for admission, in an effective manner, when there are more applicants than available seats.
“When the State or the University have the power to prescribe the eligibility criteria for admission, it cannot reasonably be said that the higher standards fixed by the State or the University, would require downward revision of the standards, to match with the standards prescribed by the Bar Council. Intervention of the court in our perception will be justified only if, a lesser standard is prescribed by the State or the University, than what is prescribed as the minimum standard by the Bar Council.”, the Court added.
The court also rejected the alternate contention that only the marks in the core subjects (Part III) of B.Com course need be considered and there is no need for taking into account, the aggregate marks in all the subjects in Part I, II and III of the B.Com curriculum, which is the qualifying examination. “Such an interpretation, in our assessment, is not merited from the prospectus, which regulates the admission process and specifically provides that the requirement for admission is 45% marks in the qualifying examination (42% for the socially and educationally backward category) and here, the writ petitioner, in the qualifying examination, has secured only 41.26% marks.”, the Court added.