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Law is becoming an increasingly competitive profession and time is of the essence. It cannot be denied that time is an actual advantage for the early finishers as they now can apply their skills and knowledge in real life. So, it did not seem peculiar enough when The Supreme Court of India received a public interest litigation that sought to reduce the duration of the five-year LLB course to three years. The public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Apex Court seeks a set of directions to the Bar Council of India (BCI) & Centre to frame a board of specialists to deliberate about the achievability of commencement of the three-year bachelor Law Course after the 12th standard like BSc, BCom, and BA courses. The plea has been filed in the apex court by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. According to the PIL filed, the duration of the undergraduate program is unnecessarily drawn out and is counterproductive to a law student’s education. According to the PIL filed in the court, the 10-semester program is grossly taxing both mentally and monetarily on a student and their family.

The five-year LLB course is a law degree offered integrated with a bachelor's degree in any field including arts, humanities, commerce, science, and even engineering. Students completing their grade 12 can opt for this at once after qualifying for the necessary competitive exams such as CLAT (Common Law Admission Test), AILET (All India Law Entrance Test), etc.

Unlike the three-year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) which at present is accessible to graduates, based on core law subjects, the five-year law degree is a combination of law subjects with subjects from other streams. The PIL finds the unavailability of a 3-year law program for students out of grade 12 to be discriminative of their rights enshrined under articles. Thus, exercising their right to file for a PIL under Article 32 they have requested directions to the center and the Bar Council of India to form a committee of experts to deliberate the matter.

The PIL also cited famous legal figures such as Ram Jethmalani who had already completed his law degree at the mere age of 17 years and had set up a legal practice for himself. The petitioner argues that there existed no such limitations in the form of five-year LLB courses to bar Ram Jethmalani’s progress and to obscure his vision. Another prominent legal figure Fali S Nariman who had already started practicing law at 21 was not bound by the rigid systems as are the students of today. "Petitioner respectfully submits that if the colleges can give Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, and Bachelor of Science degrees immediately after the 12th standard in 03 years, then why is it not feasible to give Bachelor of Law degree in 03 years? Students do not need a Bachelor of Arts to gain preliminary knowledge of law. Then why should Students be forced to waste 2 years obtaining it?" petitioner advocate Ashwini Upadhyaya has asked.

Advocate Upadhyay has contended that it is completely workable to study 16-20 key subjects of law within the stipulated period of three years i.e., in merely six semesters, and therefore the current duration of the program which is ten semesters is simply arbitrary. Advocate Upadhyaya is of the opinion that providing five years to complete a bachelor's degree is simply irrational and that completing the same within three years allows law students to practice law in real life or the much-needed time to study and prepare for the competitive judicial exams. While stressing the financial burden the five-year program puts upon these students the petitioner states that this burden is completely unnecessary and completely avoidable.

According to the petitioner conforming to the five-year program duration is taking place due to extreme pressure from the college management who wish to make the most amount of money. It cannot be denied that the fees for the five-year program for both private law colleges and even national law universities are exorbitant and a challenge for lower- and middle-class families. Such outrageous prices are acting as a deterrent and a great obstacle for law enthusiasts to pursue their passion due to financial constraints. The petitioner further states "The Question is: Why can’t Law Colleges give Bachelor of Law degrees without Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Business Administration? A Bachelor of Law is a graduation course, so why can’t it be given alone? It is also necessary to note that there is no relevance of BA with LLB or BBA with LLB and both Courses can be completed independently. “

The petitioner has requested a prompt decision from the honorable Supreme Court for this PIL in the light of admissions for the new courses of May-June approaching soon.

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