BCI imposes 3-year moratorium on opening of new law colleges

Taking note of mushrooming of law colleges in the country, the Bar Council of India has imposed a three-year moratorium on opening of new institutions barring national law universities, if proposed by a state.

The apex bar body said that it would lay stress on the improvement of standard of existing institutions and that the ones without any proper infrastructure or faculty would be closed down in the next three years.

In a meeting on Sunday, the council discussed and deliberated the issue raised by its member Ved Prakash Sharma regarding the mushrooming of law colleges in the country.

The council has also requested state governments and universities to stop unfair means and to fill up vacancies of law teachers in all colleges and universities within a period of four months.

It also observed that at present there were enough institutions in the country to “feed law courts” and to “serve people”.

“There is no dearth of advocates and the existing institutions are sufficient to produce required number of law graduates annually,” the BCI said.

It also said that since there was an urgent need to improve standard of teaching, the council would train law teachers in the country.

In its resolution, BCI has said that there are about 1,500 law colleges in the country and due to the “lethargic” attitude of universities and “some states”, several colleges were running without proper infrastructure.

“State governments seldom take interest in appointing law faculties in the Government Law Colleges and the constituent units. State government grant no objection certificates and universities are granting affiliations recklessly,” the BCI said in its release.

It said universities were unable to stop the use of unfair means at the law exams in most of rural areas and even the state governments do not show any interest in checking unfair means.

The bar body also lashed out at the University Grants Commission (UGC), saying 90 per cent of law colleges do not get any grant to improve their standards.

It also said that it was very easy to get an LLM or Ph.D degree, a reason why there was an “acute dearth” of “good law teachers” in the country.

“LLM and Ph.D degrees are not under the control of Bar Council of India and only approval/recognition of LLB degree is within its domain,” the BCI said.

It said that in 2016, the bar body had decided to stop approval of new law colleges and had requested state governments not to grant NOC to any law college or university for two years.

“The universities were requested to stop granting affiliations to new colleges and to improve the standard of existing institutions but even after the decision, more than 300 NOCs were issued.

“When BCI refused to grant approval of such affiliations, the institutions approached law courts and some of the high courts issued directions to consider the proposals,” said the bar body.

The council has also said that it will only consider the pending proposals and no fresh application shall be entertained for any new institution.

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