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HC refuses law degree holder to enroll or practice as advocate

Chennai, Jan 27: Madras High Court has refused to permit a law degree holder to enroll and practice, as he had completed his higher secondary course after completing B.A degree in history through distance education.

"No one would have ever imagined even in the wildest of dreams that people may acquire a post-graduate degree first, followed by an under-graduate degree and thereafter complete the higher secondary course, eventually to go to a kindergarten," said Justice V Ramasubramanian, refusing to permit G Bappudurai to be enrolled by the Bar Council.

The matter relates to a petition filed by G Bappudurai, who failed in one subject in plus two in 1999. Without clearing the higher secondary course, he joined a bachelor's degree course under distance education in Alagappa University and got the B.A degree in history in 2010.

HC refuses law degree holder to enroll or practice

Thereafter, he appeared for the arrear paper in Plus Two in March 2010 and cleared it. He later joined three-year law degree in Tirunelveli government law college in 2010-11 and completed it in 2013.

Though he was issued provisional certificate, Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University issued a show-cause notice to him after it learnt he had not complete his schooling and foundation degree in the prescribed 10+2+3 format and order.

His counsel argued that Bappudurai fulfilled eligibility criteria in 2010-11 to join the three-year law degree course and that the university could not question it after having issued the provisional certificate.

Rejecting the argument, Justice Ramasubramanian said when the expression 'degree' was defined in the statutes, law makers never imagined the kind of inventions that could happen in the education, entitling people to acquire all qualifications in the reverse or perverse order.

"We follow a particular order even in the matter of wearing costumes. The only exception to this is that comic's book hero Superman. People who complete educational courses in the reverse order can only be compared to Superman," he said.

Pointing out that the petitioner had not obtained his school and college certificates in normal sequence, the judge said he had not fulfilled the requirement of Rule 5 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008, and hence was not entitled to use the degree for enrollment as advocate.

The judge said since Bappudurai had already undergone the course and passed it and also the higher secondary course, "I do not wish to make that degree a waste paper. If a private employer is prepared to give employment to him on the basis of the law degree, I do not wish to stand in the way. But, it will not entitle him to get enrolled as an advocate."


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