Delhi HC Orders BCI to Conduct Surprise Inspections, Take Action to Close Law Colleges Operating Without Infrastructure

Delhi High Court Law Insider

Prerna Gala

Published on: September 18, 2022 at 16:19 IST

The Delhi High Court ordered the Bar Council of India (BCI) to form a special team of experts on Friday to perform unexpected visits to institutions that lack the resources and infrastructure for teaching law [New Millennium Education Society vs. GGSIPU].

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh mandated that inspection results of the colleges be posted on the BCI website within a month of the inspection and that the council take prompt action to close any institutions that are found to be operating without the bare minimum of facilities.

“This is a much-needed therapy that ought to be introduced to cure the maladies that legal education is suffering from,” the court observed.

The court went on to say that it is past time for the BCI to take on the mission of improving the condition of legal education in India, along with all other stakeholders, including Senior Advocates, Academicians, and even retired Supreme Court and High Court judges.

Justice Singh was handling a number of petitions asking the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIU) to assign 110 seats for the BA LLB Five Years’ Integrated Course to the Ideal Institute of Management & Technology, one of its affiliated colleges, for the academic sessions 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23.

The Institute testified before the court that it has received authorisation from the BCI for 120 seats since the school year 2014–15, and even for the academic year 2022–23.

Even though there is enough room and infrastructure, the institution has resisted allocating 110 seats, it was said.

The Institute is only allowed a maximum of 110 students, according to the University, because it holds its classes in the basement.

According to BCI, a Center of Legal Education academic facility should include separate classrooms with 60 students for each division, rooms for tutorial work, a moot court room, common areas for male and female students, and a sufficient library or reading area.

The court noted, after hearing from the attorneys for all parties, that classes or any other educational activities cannot take place in a basement that is otherwise designated for parking and that the institute lacked the necessary Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for an increase in the number of students enrolled in the BA LLB programme.

It also mentioned that the petitioner institute had only been given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the admission of 85 students to the BA LLB course by the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE).

As a result, the petitions were dismissed by the court.

However, in accordance with its prior orders, it instructed the respondents to maintain the status quo for students who had previously been admitted in earlier academic sessions.

“No such benefit shall be allowed for the Academic Session 2022-23, and only admission to 85 Seats already allotted by the Respondent University shall be done by the petitioner institute in its BA LLB Course,” the Court ordered.

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