The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Bar Council of India on a petition calling for an inquiry into the sale of law degrees by letter pad colleges and action against colleges found indulging in such practice undermining the dignity of the noble legal profession.
A bench of Justice A K Sikri and Justice S Abdul Nazeer issued notice to BCI on a petition moved by M Vasantha Raja who was represented by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayana.
The petition seeks direction to the BCI to consider the representation made to it by the petitioner on November 20, 2018 and conduct an inquiry into the "scam".
It also seeks actions to weed out illegally purchased law degree holders who had already entered into the noble legal profession and urged that steps be taken to stop such illegal elements from entering into the profession in future.
The petitioner sought efficacious remedy to curb the existing practise of "selling law degrees" by letter pad law colleges "mushroomed" across country, particularly in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh which allow candidates to write examinations through proxies.
Stressing that serving government servants, full time salaried private employees, businessmen and any anti-social elements were engaging in purchase of law degrees, the petitioner shared the case of a serving police officer in Chennai who projects himself as a law degree holder at his workplace and on social media platforms.
The petitioner said he made an enquiry about the police officer and to the best of his knowledge, given his service condition, he does not have the chance to attend law classes like a regular student which is a mandatory condition to obtain a law degree.
"…in order protect the violation of Article 14,19 (1) (g) and other statutory provisions and to maintain the dignity, nobility of the legal profession timely intervention of this court and proper Investigation by 1 st respondent (BCI) will unearth such a large scam of purchasing law degrees, happening for decades," said Raja.
He has also sought direction to BCI to terminate the license of those colleges and universities found indulging in issuance of illegal law degrees to students who do not attended regular classes and write exams besides also cancelling illegally purchased law degrees including the degree obtained by the police officer he had enquired about.