A 77-year old woman desirous of pursuing a law degree has moved Supreme Court challenging the Rules of Legal Education and BCI Rules which set the upper limit of admission prescribing the upper age limit of admission to a 3 year LLB course at 30 and 5 year course at 20.
Seeking to intervene in a matter pending before the Top Court regarding the same issue, the septuagenarian widow says not only does she seek knowledge of the law, but has also developed a passion for it while defending her late husband's estate.
However, despite approaching various law colleges, she was denied admission based on the age restriction and was informed about the Rules governing the same.
"To the utter shock and dismay of the Applicant herein, when she approached the various colleges in the vicinity of her home, to seek admissions, she was informed that there is age bar as imposed by the Bar Council of India, and she is therefore not eligible to enrol herself to the LL.B Degree Courses offered by any of the Law Colleges", states the application.
The applicant goes on to assert that the Rules violate fundamental rights under Article 14 and 21. She avers that the Right to Life includes the right to read, be educated in a medium of instruction, pursue a degree or a course of her choice, notwithstanding the limitation of age.
Therefore, in her prayer, she has sought directions to strike down Circular No. 6 dated 17.09.2016 as well as Clause 28, Schedule III, Rule 11 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008 as unconstitutional.
The applicant states that she is "challenging the validity of Clause 28, Schedule III, Rule 11 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008 ('BCI Rules') and of impugned Circular No. 6 dated 17.09.2016 on grounds of the same being in violation of Article 14 by prescribing an age limit of 20 years and 30 years respectively for admission into the 5- Year and 3-Year LLB Programmes of all law schools throughout India."
Buttressing her claim, the applicant relies on a judgment passed by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Francis Coralie Mullin v. Administrator, Union Territory of Delhi wherein it was held that the Right to Life extended beyond 'animalistic existence'. The fundamental right under Article 21 constitutes the right to live with dignity which includes the right to read, write and receive instructions in a course of choosing, states the applicant accordingly.
The Application is drawn by Advocates Nipun Saxena, Serena Sharma and Umang Tyagi, and filed by AOR Astha Sharma.