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Bunk classes, lose degree

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 02:58 IST

Law students better think twice before bunking classes. The Delhi High Court has ordered that a student has to have 66 per cent attendance in all subjects to be able to appear for LLB exams.

The Delhi High Court has asked three law colleges in the capital to ensure strict compliance of the rules of attendance for LLB degree classes.

Clearing exams is not sufficient for obtaining a law degree, the court has said. Attending lectures, tutorials and seminars is an essential part of producing trained legal minds.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mukundakam Sharma and Justice Hima Kohli gave the ruling on a Public Interest Litigation filed by SN Singh, a professor of law faculty, Delhi University.

Singh drew the attention of the court to the "decline in educational norms in professional law courses". He said even the Supreme Court had taken note of this way back in 1989 and observed that there is a substantial difference between the course of study pursued by a regular student and the course pursued by a private candidate.

The professor said it was found that many students attended very few classes and obtain their degree merely by clearing the exams. He said this was despite the fact that Bar Council of India has asked the law centre to take the attendance rules seriously and adhere to them strictly.

The Campus Law Centre took the plea that "no such rules for attendance should be made strictly applicable as to become a good lawyer certain other qualities are also required and attendance in classes may not be the sole factor".

But the court rejected the contention. "We are of the considered opinion that to be able to appear in the examination for obtaining the degree of LLB, a student has to have attended at least 66 percent of all lectures on each of his subjects. The attendance shortage cannot be condoned unless the student receives specific permission from the Principal, Dean or Bar Council of India as applicable".

The court gave petitioner Singh the liberty to bring any violation to the notice of the university and Bar Council authorities.

Email Harish V Nair: harish .nair@hindustantimes.com