Bar Council softens stand, may recognise DU degree

BCI visits Law centres, willing to reconsider decision

In a possible reprieve for over 1,000 students who graduated from the three centres of Delhi University’s Law Faculty this year, the Bar Council of India is willing to reconsider recognition of their degrees, and allow them to practice as advocates. 

A seven-member team of the Bar Council of India (BCI) visited the three Law centres on Tuesday to check their infrastructure. 

Last month, the BCI in a letter to the Delhi Bar Council had refused enrolment of students who graduated from DU Law Faculty. The university authorities had then applied for an extension to regain BCI affiliation.

“We have already assured students that their prospects of practicing as advocates would not be hampered,” Law Faculty dean Ashwani Kumar Bansal said. 

BCI officials, including Delhi Bar Council chairman, had detailed interactions with students and teachers, and surveyed the entire campus.

The BCI while derecognising DU’s Law degree had pointed out infrastructural limitations. 

In a bid to scale up infrastructure, the Law faculty may be shifted to a new campus soon, accommodating the three centres currently operating out of different buildings.

The university has submitted a proposal in the Delhi High Court for shifting the faculty to a building located adjacent to the existing one.

Bansal said the faculty has amended its attendance requirements and course content to make the programme compliant with BCI requirements.

“The current batch of first-year students will be required to have 70 per cent aggregate attendance and 65 per cent attendance in each paper. Besides, we will have 46 courses, out of which a student will be required to complete at least 32 courses,” Bansal said.

The changes have been vetted by ordinances and statutes of the university, he added.

Faculty officials also gave a detailed presentation to the visiting BCI officials.But the BCI team suggested they may point out lack of infrastructure and shortage of permanent teaching staff in their assessment report. 

“Appointment of permanent teachers hasn’t taken place in the faculty since 2005. As far as infrastructure is concerned, the university was supposed to provide a new campus building, which is still not complete. We can move there as soon as construction is over,” Bansal added.

During inspection, the BCI team checked attendance sheets, course material and asked students to tell them about problems they face on the campus. 

Five officials from the BCI along with Delhi Bar Council Chairperson K K Manan and two judges from Rajasthan conducted the inspection. The university reportedly paid Rs 4.5 lakh to the BCI for the inspection. 

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