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Bar council to decide fate of law colleges soon

Law aspirants, who appeared for the state’s Common Entrance Test (CET), will be watching the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Supreme Court closely on September 13 as the fate of some law colleges and the test itself gets decided.

mumbai Updated: Sep 07, 2016 00:22 IST
Musab Qazi

Law aspirants, who took the state’s Common Entrance Test (CET), will be watching the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Supreme Court closely as the fate of some law colleges and the test itself will be decided over the next few days.

On Tuesday, the BCI, which regulates legal education in the country, was to review its decision denying admissions to some law colleges in the state, including Government Law College (GLC), Churchgate, and three government-aided colleges in the city, which didn’t have sufficient teachers. But at the time of going to press, there was no update from BCI.

This comes after the state government assured the regulatory body that it’s committed to appointing faculty at the aided colleges in the state.

At a meeting with BCI officials on Saturday, the state government said it will recruit teachers in GLC at the earliest and asked for a year’s time to meet the BCI’s faculty norms in other aided colleges.

The state’s higher and technical education department has sought Rs18 crore from the finance department for the salaries of the yet to be appointed teachers.

“We requested the BCI to allow admissions this year,” said a state government official.

While the BCI’s Legal Education Committee (LEC) had earlier scheduled a meeting on September 13 to decide the fate of colleges, the state requested the regulatory body to expedite the decision as the admissions to law colleges are underway.

According to Satish Deshmukh, a member of the LEC, the committee was likely to take a decision on Tuesday.

So far, of the 128 law colleges in the state, only 64 have received the BCI’s approval. Many colleges, which have been functioning without the BCI’s approval, have been asked to pay hefty fines, while those that failed to comply with the BCI’s faculty and infrastructure norms have been asked to do so at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the law aspirants are anxious. While the state CET cell has allowed them to mark their colleges’ preferences, even as many of them are awaiting BCI’s approval, the aspirants are wary of picking ‘unapproved’ colleges.

They hope the BCI decides on the matter before Friday, when the first list of seat allotments will be released.

“I picked some ‘unapproved’ colleges, but I think it’s worth the risk. I hope that the BCI approves all the law colleges at least for this academic session because if it does not do so, most of us will end up losing a year,” said Rhea Gupta, an aspirant from Satara.

SC to hear students’ plea on Sept 13

The Supreme Court will hear the government’s response to a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay high court’s verdict allowing the state to conduct its first Common Entrance Test (CET) for law courses. The court decided to adjourn the matter until September 13 after the government sought more time to file its reply.

The appeal was filed in the Supreme Court two months after the high court dismissed a petition by students, against the CET. The students had alleged that the syllabus of the exam was issued only a couple of months before the test, leaving them with little time to prepare.