Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s decision to set up a Round Table on Legal Education has evoked a sharp reaction from the Bar Council of India (BCI), which termed it a “direct interference” in its functioning.
The HRD ministry plans to revamp legal education.
Taking a strong exception to the decision, BCI chairman SNP Sinha questioned the HRD ministry’s authority to set up such a body without consulting the BCI, “which is a legally constituted body to formulate policies regarding legal education.”
“There appears to be some hidden agenda behind it for facilitating foreign firms to establish their offices in India, which has been opposed by the BCI for want of reciprocity,” Sinha said on Friday.
“We have decided to call a meeting of all the state bar councils in October or November to discuss the issue and take appropriate decisions,” BCI member Jagdev (who goes by only one name) said.
The BCI chairman said: “...they (HRD Ministry) had invited me to attend the first meeting of the 12-member Round Table on Legal Education on September 7, but I have decided not to attend it.”
Maintaining that the BCI was aware of the need to overhaul the legal education, Sinha said: “The BCI is capable of formulating policies regarding Legal Education...”
He pointed out that it was for this that the BCI has framed a new set of rules on ‘Standard of Legal Education and Recognition of Degrees in Law’ for enrolling as an advocate.