A syndicate of Panjab University (PU) will be taking the decision on running of the evening law courses at varsity. The letter of Bar Council of India has also warned those passing out from evening law courses that they are not entitled to pursue any practices.
Bar Council of India, in its letter dated November 30, 2016, had brought forward the fact that PU has been running the evening law courses without taking permission from them.
The letter said, “Earlier the concept of law courses was to get a basic knowledge of the law and there is no restriction on running the courses as aforesaid students were getting a degree and later practising law. Now, after Legal Education Rules- 2008, the restriction has been made keeping in mind the upgrading standards and legal education for which, the study hours and period is required to be fixed.”
“Now under the new amendment, the students not only have to participate in a textual study but have to regularly moot in the court and legal aid cell,” read the letter. BCI said that if PU wanted to educate service classes in law, students will not be able to practice but can obtain a diploma in law.
The evening shift runs from 5.30pm to 9.15pm, for 3 hours and 45 minutes, whereas BCI wants that it should be 30 hours per week which comes out to be 6 hours per day with a 30-minute break.
In a meeting of law faculty held on December 13, 2016, it was decided that evening course cannot work and from 2017-18, the classes will be held in morning shift only. In the 3-year-law course, the number of law seats has been recommended to reduce to 300 from 360. The number of sections has also been asked to reduce to 5 of 60 students each as against 6 consisting 60 students presently.
The timings of the department are also recommended to be from 8.30am to 3.30pm. A number of bureaucrats used to take admission in evening law course at PU, but now, they will have to come in the morning shift. The law faculty wants the BCI letter to be adopted to avoid any legal hurdles.
Prof Shalini Marwah, chairperson of law department said that those already attending classes in evening can continue to come at their time only.