BCI opposes move to bring law education under HECI

The HRD ministry has finalised a bill to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with the HECI. The bill stipulates for bringing law education also under its ambit. Representative image

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has opposed the government's move to bring law education under the ambit of the proposed Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), demanding its rollback.

It has also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter and ensure that the law education was not taken away from the jurisdiction of the BCI, threatening to launch a nation-wide protest and rallies if its demand was not fulfilled.

The HRD ministry has finalised a bill to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with the HECI. The bill stipulates for bringing law education also under its ambit.

“The bill, which is likely to be placed before the Cabinet, is aimed at taking away the very important functions of the state bar councils and the BCI provide under the Advocates Act. The entire legal fraternity is certainly going to protest against this bill as some provisions of it directly infringe and encroach upon the very important and relevant provisions of the Advocates Act,” BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra stated in a letter to the prime minister.

The BCI contended that when the Advocates Act was passed by Parliament on the report of the Law Commission in 1961, the experts had realised that the regulation of legal education up to graduation level should be the sole domain of the Bar Councils.

The BCI has a legal education committee, which is a statutory body and lays down the norms and standards of legal education. 

“No other commission or body could be more competent or efficient for legal education than the legal education committee of the BCI. We can not tolerate the interference of an outsider in the matter of regulation of the legal education,” the BCI chairman added.

The BCI has decided to hold a joint meeting with all state bar councils on October 12 in Delhi to deliberate on the issue. “It has resolved to hold protest rallies in all state capitals as well as in Delhi, and gherao Parliament during the Winter Session if the bill is moved in its present form,” the council said in a statement.

More than one lakh lawyers are expected to participate in the said protest rally and gherao, BCI chairman said.

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