While the state government, on Thursday, said the age criteria will be relaxed for this year’s law admissions, Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex regulatory body for legal education, insisted that the current limit is a must for those seeking to practice law.
As per Standards of Legal Education (Rules), laid down by BCI in 2008, the students must be aged below 20 years (22 for reserved category) and 30 years (35 for reserved category), at the time of admission in five-year and three-year LLB courses, respectively. Ever since, the age clause has been a bone of contention with multiple petitions challenging it in various courts across the country.
There was no mention of age criteria in the state government’s brochure for law admissions. However, it was later admitted to admission rules at the insistence of BCI, infuriating many over-aged aspirants.
The state later decided to conduct the first round of admissions under Centralised Admission Process (CAP) without considering the ages of aspirants. However, a couple of days ago, BCI warned law colleges that the over-aged students won’t be able to get a chance to practice the law, prompting the state to take a stand in the matter.
“We left it for the state to decide if it wants to admit over-aged students. But we won’t give them licenses to practice law, once they graduate,” said Satish Deshmukh, a member of BCI’s Legal Education Committee.