The Delhi High Court has directed the Bar Council of India (BCI) for constituting a team of experts for conducting surprise visits of colleges that lack infrastructure and facilities for teaching law.
The bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh ordered that the reports of the inspection should be uploaded on BCI’s website within one month of inspection. It added that incase it is found that the colleges lack minimal infrastructure then the council must take immediate steps to close such institutions.
The Court observed that this is a much-needed therapy that ought to be introduced to cure the maladies that legal education is suffering from.
The court said that it is about time that everyone including Senior Advocates, academicians and even former judges of the Supreme Court and High Court should take upon themselves the task of reforming the status of legal education in India.
Justice Singh who was dealing with a batch of petitions seeking direction to the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIU) had to allocate 110 seats to the Ideal Institute of Management & Technology, one of its affiliated colleges, for BA LLB Five Years’ Integrated Course for Academic Sessions 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.
The Institute however said to the court that BCI has granted approval for 120 seats since the academic session 2014-15
Although the permission is there yet the the university has refused to allocate 110 seats , it argued
The University said that the institute was not entitled to the strength of 110 students as it is holding classes in the basement.
BCI however stated that for an academic building of Centre of Legal Education, the infrastructure should have separate classrooms of 60 students for each section along with rooms for tutorial work, moot court room, common rooms for male and female students and adequate library or reading space.
After hearing the counsel for all sides,the court agreed that educational activities cannot be allowed to function in a basement which is otherwise allotted for parking purposes.
It also noted that Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) had granted the petitioner institute a No Objection Certificate (NOC) only for the admission of 85 students in the BA LLB course.
Therefore, the court dismissed the petitions with the direction to the respondents for maintaining status quo regarding already admitted students in previous academic sessions in compliance with its past orders.