Supreme Court: Petition filed against new BCI rules to abolish 1-year LL.M. course in India

Anushka Mansharamani

A petition has been filed before the Apex Court challenging the recent notification issued by the Bar Council of India which intends to abolish the one-year Master Degree in Law (LL.M.) courses in India.

The petition has been filed by Tamanna Chandan, a law student through Advocate Rahul Bhandari who contends the validity of the notification as it violates her fundamental right to education guaranteed under Article 21-A of the Constitution of India.

She further contends that there is an absence of reasonable justification given by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to abolish the 1-year LL.M. course.

The petition states that the said rules passed are in violation of the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961.

The petitioner also argued that the BCI has no authority or power to regulate the rules of higher legal education in India as the power vests within the jurisdiction of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The BCI sought to abolish the 1-year LL.M. course and introduce a 2-year LL.M. course which would be spread over 4 semesters and also restrict the course for only law graduates.

The 1-year LL.M. course was introduced by the UGC in 2013 and would remain operative until the Academic Session and the new rule states that the 1-year course would not be valid at any University further after the rule is enforced by the Bar Council of India.