Delhi University (DU) will be forced to scrap the popular evening classes at its law faculty and trim student intake by around 800 this year after an adverse report by the Bar Council of India (BCI) that regulates legal education.
The report – which was sent to the university on August 6 – is expected to resolve a legal tangle and pave the way for admission counseling to begin at the law faculty after two postponements.
“The matter has been approved in the academic council of the university and we have decided that we will follow the BCI rules and recommendations,” said a senior university official.
The university law faculty runs three centres -- Law Centre—I(LC-I), Campus Law Centre (CLC) and Law Centre –II (LC-II) – and is considered one of India’s top destinations for legal education.
But it ran into controversy in 2014 when the BCI refused to enroll the law faculty’s students as advocates because DU had not applied for inspection and affiliation despite reminders.
The BCI said the law faculty ran without affiliation for three years between 2011 and 2014, when it gave provisional affiliation to the law faculty. It then conducted a survey and submitted a report that detailed instances of shoddy infrastructure and poor facilities at the faculty.
In its recent report, the BCI approved eight sections with 60 students each – a total of 1,440 students that is inclusive of the 49.5% quota for scheduled caste, tribe and other backward classes.
Till last year, nearly 2,200 students were granted admission in the faculty – without approval from the BCI, the report said.
“The university misread section 5 along with section 2 (c) of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006 and it committed default in admitting excess students,” read the report.
The BCI said it doesn’t allow more than five sections but made an exemption for DU.
The report also said the university violated legal education rules by conducting classes after 7pm. The DU conducted classes from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at LC-II, which functioned out of the Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College’s campus in south Delhi.
The BCI advised that students already enrolled in these classes be provided special tutorials of 5.5 hours each.
It also said LC-I and LC—II will function from a new building under construction and the CLC from the same premises in at DU’s north campus. This ended confusion over the exercise after a student challenged in court the decision to move the centres.
To see that students who have already graduated from evening classes didn’t have problem in enrolling as advocates, the BCI ordered DU to deposit R2 lakh each for a year per centre.