Long before the Bar Council of India (BCI) decided to de-recognise Delhi University’s law courses, the Delhi high court had, in 2011, asked the Law Faculty to adhere to BCI norms.
The DU Law faculty failed to obtain “extension of approval of affiliation” from BCI beyond the academic year 2010-11 despite the HC order and repeated reminders from the apex regulatory body. Every year, the law faculty admits around 2000 students in its three centres.
As approval for extension of affiliation requires an inspection by the BCI, it had in July 2010 sent a communication to the three law centres here, asking them to act in time.
Under the BCI’s Legal Education Rules, 2008, periodic inspection of such institutes offering law education is necessary to ascertain the adequacy of infrastructure, admissions, courses, teaching, and examinations.
Since DU failed to obtain extension of affiliation, the BCI — in an unprecedented move on September 22 — wrote to state bar councils asking them not to enrol students who passed out from the three centres this year as advocates.
In February this year, former dean of law faculty, Professor SN Singh, had filed a contempt plea at the HC stating that DU had not complied with the court’s 2011 direction.
The high court had then issued notices on the petition.
Singh has alleged that the DU has not followed rules of the regulatory body. The curriculum of studies in the Campus Law Centre is required to be in conformity with the BCI rules.
The university, however, has not taken steps to revise the courses of studies, Singh said.
“Six of the 20 courses prescribed as compulsory by the Bar Council of India —Special Contract, Company Law, Principles of Taxation Law, Environmental Law and Labour and Industrial Law — continue to remain merely optional courses in the DU,” Singh’s petition said.
Compulsory clinical courses such as Internship and Professional Accounting System, have not at all been prescribed as courses, Singh added.
“The core faculty requirement prescribed by the BCI does not exist in the DU Law Faculty which has nearly 40 full-time permanent teachers for approximately 7,500 students,” Singh said adding that nearly 250 permanent faculty positions are lying vacant for the last several years.
Singh, who has been pushing the DU to have a common law course and unified campus, also told the HC that the BCI has never inspected the faculty. The HC will continue hearing his petition on November 17.