law courses n Bar Council limits upset legal fraternity
Former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani has criticised the decision of the Bar Council of India to introduce a minimum age limit of 20 years for BA LLB and 30 years for LLB. “I do not see any logic in this decision,” he said on Sunday. He was speaking to journalists after a speech on “Right to Defence” at Bharati Vidyapeeth University’s New Law College at Erandwane.
The council had, in its new set of rules on standards of legal education released last week, stipulated that students from the open category taking admission for the LLB old course in 2009-10 should have attained 30 years of age, while those from the reserved category should be at least 35. Open category students seeking admission for BA LLB would have to be at least 20 years of age, while the age limit for students in the reserved category would be 22.
Lawyers, academics and students have criticised the decision. Sureshchandra Bhosale, dean, faculty of law, University of Pune, said, “It is not justified and the council has not stated any reasons for the decision. The university will take the lead in filing a petition against the decision,” he said.
The university will convene a meeting of representatives of all eight universities in Maharashtra by this month-end to discuss the decision. Bhosale said the council had issued a similar decision a decade ago, which was turned down by the Supreme Court. The university has 23 law colleges under its jurisdiction, with the total number of law colleges in the state being 75.
Mukund Sarda, dean and principal, New Law College of Bharati Vidyapeeth University, said such an age limit could be justified for interdisciplinary courses like B Tech-LLB, BBA -LLB and others. “However, an age limit for LLB and BA LLB is debatable,” he said.
Janaki V, a second year law student of ILS Law College, too said it was unfair to introduce an age limit for the course. “Education must be for all, irrespective of age. The council should justify it or should have considered the opinion of experts before taking such a decision,” she said.