New Delhi, November 10: The Delhi High Court has sought data from the Bar Council of India (BCI) on the number of students who have been enrolled as advocates and how many applications are still pending from those who passed out this academic year.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw directed the BCI to file a report on the number of students it has enrolled as advocates and the number of applications pending for enrolment for 2013-14 by Dec 17. The court's direction came while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by law student Tarun Narang through advocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, seeking to quash the BCI's September order that law graduates who passed out from the three centres of Delhi University's Law Faculty this year cannot be enrolled as advocates.
The BCI also informed the bench that representatives of BCI Nov 4 inspected the three law centres after the varsity applied for inspection so that it can continue its affiliation to the council and a decision can be taken on the "extension of approval of affiliation" to these centres.
The inspection report has been prepared and will be submitted before the legal education committee by Nov end, said BCI. The court asked the council to furnish the report on its decision. Khan told the court that 1,600 students are adversely affected, who are yet to be enrolled and 7,500 are also indirectly affected because of non--approval of Campus Law Centre, Law Centre-I and Law Centre-II. On Sep 22, BCI, which regulates legal education in the country, asked state bar councils not to enrol the students who passed out from the three centres of DU's Law Faculty as advocates as the Law Faculty failed to obtain "extension of approval of affiliation" from BCI despite repeated reminders.
The DU Law Faculty failed to obtain extension from the BCI beyond the academic year 2010-11. Every year, the Law Faculty admits around 2,000 students in its three centres, two of which run in the evening. Seeking quashing of the BCI order, Khan told the court that the decision was arbitrary and against the Legal Education Rules, 2008. The court clubbed the plea of Narang with another plea filed by Vijay Kumar Chaurasia, an assistant professor at the Law Faculty on the same issue.