While PU’s University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) has decided to conduct counselling for the second semester of the BCom LLB (honours) five-year integrated course on March 10 following a recent Punjab and Haryana High Court order, records pertaining to the meetings held on the issue continue to raise questions over the institute’s functioning.
For one thing it is unclear whether the institute has addressed the issue of lack of infrastructure, which it had earlier cited as one of the reasons for not granting admissions.
It is also surprising that, despite the Bar Council of India giving a nod to run an additional course at the institute, the faculty was of the view that it did not have the requisite infrastructure.
Documents accessed by HT reveal that UILS staff meetings held after the Bar Council granted permission to run one more section last November saw repeated mention of the lack of infrastructure.
Records of meetings held on the issue on November 8 and 11 and December 18 say the infrastructure at the institute — physical, academic as well as administrative — for catering to an additional 60 students was inadequate.
However, a meeting held on February 25, held after the HC directed, recorded that “it is pertinent to mention here that the Bar Council of India’s approval to Panjab University to run four sections of BCom LLB (Hons) itself speaks of the fact that the university has sufficient infrastructure to cater to the needs to these additional students.”
Questions are now being raised as to why the institute decided to admit students four months after the high court’s intervention if it had adequate infrastructure.
Also, records of various institute meetings reveal that PU had not sanctioned the stated additional section.
Moreover, the department concerned had not approached UILS to seek permission from the Bar Council for an additional section.
The minutes of the meeting held on November 11 also reveal the institute had not sought the mandatory clearance from PU for the course.
“The faculty members are of the considered opinion that the institute’s department has not forwarded the proposal for 60 more seats in the course to the university administration for its necessary sanction for the 2013-14 academic session,” reads the proceedings of the meeting held on November 13.
They further note that filling up of 60 additional seats without the approval of the competent authorities may entail legal complications.
When contacted, University Institute of Legal Studies director Sangeeta Bhalla said everything was done according to the rules.
“The regulations laid down by Panjab University have been followed in seeking the Bar Council of India’s nod for the course. As far as infrastructure is concerned, the faculty was pressing for more facilities at the meetings convened on the issue.
But had that been the case we wouldn’t have got permission from the Bar Council of India, which has a rigorous procedure in place to such grant affiliation,” she said.