The Bar Council of India on Thursday submitted before the Supreme Court the BCI Rules abolishing One Year LLM Programme will not be implemented this year .
"The BCI rules to abolish One Year LLM are proposed to be brought into force from the academic year 2022-2023", BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra submitted before the Court.
Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Consortium of National Law Universities, told that this assurance of the BCI Chairman will remove the apprehensions of the Universities regarding this year.
The Supreme Court recorded the submission of the BCI Chairman in the order.
The bench had posted the petitions today to consider the prayer of the Consortium of National Law Universities to order status quo.
The bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, was hearing the petitions filed by Consortium of National Law Universities, Tamanna Chandan Chanchlani and Rishab Soni challenging the new rules of the Bar Council of India which seek to abolish One Year LLM Courses in India. The bench has issued notice in these petitions and adjourned the hearing for four weeks.
Dr AM Singhvi, appearing for the Consortium, had submitted yesterday that since the Universities have received nearly 5000 applications for the one-year LLM courses advertised in January, a status quo order was necessary as the sudden notification of the new Rules of the BCI will cause immense hardship to students.
The main arguments of Singhvi were :
- The Advocates Act, 1961, gives power to the Bar Council of India only to regulate legal education in so far as it relates to qualifications for enrollment for practice of law. LLM is not a qualification for enrollment.
- Only UGC has power to regulate LLM courses.
- One year LLM is the standard across the globe in all reputed international universities.
- One year LLM was started in India on the basis of recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission in 2012.
- The BCI did not consult a single Law University before issuing the new Rules.
The bench was considering the challenge against the BCI Legal Education (Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive, Vocational, Clinical and other Continuing Education) Rules, 2020 (Rules) to the extent they seek to abolish the one year LLM program.
It was on January 4 that the BCI published these Rules, which will come into force when they are notified.
The new rules provides that the post-graduate course in law leading to Master degree, in short, LL.M. has to be of two years' duration spreading over four semesters. Further, LL.M. course is restricted to only graduates in law. The current one year LLM course will remain in operative and valid until the Academic Session in which these Regulations are notified