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The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought responses of the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Delhi Bar Council (DBC) on a plea challenging the apex law body’s order barring DU law graduates from being enrolled as advocates.

Justice Manmohan issued notices to BCI, DBC, Delhi University (DU) and its Faculty of Law and sought the replies by Nov 22 on a law student’s petition for quashing BCI’s September order.

The court order came on a fresh plea filed by Vinerjeet Kaur Sandhu.

Sandhu, a fresh law graduate from DU, through advocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, said the letter issued by BCI to DBC, other State Bar Councils and DU Vice-Chancellor was “unconstitutional, arbitrary, unjustified and against the principle of natural justice”.

The plea sought direction to BCI and DBC that Sandhu be enrolled with DBC or any other state Bar Council of her choice as an advocate as she has completed the LLB (3-year Course) in the academic year 2014.

The petition further submitted that almost 1600 students have passed out during the academic year 2013-14 and if the order of BCI is not set aside, “the career of these graduates would be jeopardized and tarnished and also will adversely affect the academic career of those pursuing the law course”.

Recently, another plea was 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.

On this plea, a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw Nov 8 had 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.

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.

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