Aspirants for a post-graduate law degree at Panjab University are a confused lot with very little clarity on the duration of the post-graduate course LLM (Masters in Law).
Even as the prospectus mentioned that the course would run for a year, the varsity changed its mind on July 26, stating that it would be of two years.
PU had cited a University Grants Commission (UGC) order to universities, where it stated that it would not recognise the LLM course with duration less than that of two years, behind the decision.
However, in an interim order issued last week, the Punjab and Haryana high court stated that those who had applied for the course thinking that it would be a one-year course could participate in counselling.
However, the court clarified that this did not signify that they had taken admission in the two-year course.
The order added that it will take a call on the issue after hearing from all parties, whether, PU could change the duration of the LLM course from a year to two years and whether admissions being made by PU would not necessarily be for a two-year course.
The interim order is based on a petition filed by an applicant Harvinder Singh Johal who had approached the court following PU’s announcement regarding the change in the course’s duration, during the middle of the admissions.
He argued that he had applied for the course considering it to be a one-year course and that he had left his job, in view of the fact.
Johal had also questioned whether the order issued by the UGC on July 10 could apply to PU admissions as the prospectus for the same was released in May 2014, much before the UGC order.
“The petitioner may participate in counselling and his participation shall not be taken as admission to only a two-year course,” the court stated in its interim order.
The next date of hearing is on September 5 and the court has asked the PU and the UGC to file their replies.
Interestingly, till last year the course ran for two years and was changed to a one-year programme from this academic session itself, citing course duration relaxations granted by the UGC.
As of now, no revised date of counselling has been announced by the university. PU has 42 seats in the LLM course at its department of laws for which nearly 700 candidates had taken the entrance test in June.