The apex lawyers' body of the country set itself on collision course with the government on Monday. It has announced a nationwide protest on January 20 against the Centre’s decision to include legal education under the proposed super regulator for higher education and research.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) has demanded that the government drop all provisions related to legal education from the Higher Education and Research Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha on December 27.
"The government is trying to curb the independence of the legal profession ... This will be opposed tooth and nail, lawyers all over the country will observe a protest day on January 20," said BCI chairman, Ashok Kumar Parija.
But he made it clear that the BCI will not ask the lawyers to abstain from courts. "The form of protest has been left to the respective state bar councils."
Asked about reasons for opposing the creation of a National Commission for higher education and research, Parija replied, said, “It directly affects the basic structures of the Advocates Act 1961, which was passed to give autonomy to the BCI and state bar councils to regulate the legal profession and education.”