The state government, on Thursday, clarified that the age criteria will be relaxed for this year’s law admissions, even as the Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex regulatory body for legal education, insisted that it’s a must for those seeking to practise law.
As per the Standards of Legal Education (Rules), laid down by the BCI in 2008, students must be below 20 (22 for reserved category) and 30 (35 for reserved category), at the time of admission in the 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 the age criteria in the state government’s brouchure for law admissions. However, it was later added to the admission rules at BCI’s insistence, infuriating many over-aged aspirants.
With little clarity on the issue, the state decided to conduct the first round of admissions under a centralised admission process (CAP) without considering the aspirants’ ages. However, a couple of days ago, BCI warned law colleges that over-aged students won’t get a chance to practise law, prompting the state to take a stand on the matter.
“We left it for the state to decide if it wants to admit over-aged students. But we won’t give them license to practice law, once they graduate,” said Satish Deshmukh, a member of BCI’s Legal Education Committee.