This is from the Hindu of 31.8.2009 :
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed all further proceedings in 12 High Courts on petitions challenging a Bar Council of India Rule fixing 20 years as upper age limit for admission to five-year integrated law course and 30 years for three-year degree course.
A Bench consisting of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan stayed the proceedings on a petition by the Bar Council seeking transfer of all the cases pending in various High Courts to the Supreme Court. Senior counsel M.N. Krishnamani, appearing for the BCI, said as different orders were passed by the High Courts, the matter required consideration by the Supreme Court. The Bench issued notice to respondents cited by the BCI.
The petitions in the High Courts questioned Clause 28 of Schedule III to the Rules of Education, 2008 fixing the maximum age limit for admission to five and three-year law courses as ultra vires the Advocates Act. They contended that the BCI was not empowered to restrict admission by introducing the upper age limit. When there was no provision in the Advocates Act, such restrictions could not be imposed under the Rules.
The BCI said as substantial questions of law of general importance were involved, the matter required to be decided expeditiously by the Supreme Court. It also prayed for stay of further proceedings in High Courts.
This is from the Telegraph of 31.8.2009:
New Delhi, Aug. 31: The Supreme Court has stayed a Bar Council rule that set age limits on students of legal courses.
The council has set 20 years as the upper age limit for entrants to the five-year integrated LLB course and 30 years for enrolling in the three-year degree version.
The Bar Council of India, the apex regulatory body for legal education, had introduced the rule last September to check the declining standards of legal education by getting in younger people. The only concession was a five-year relaxation for reserved category students.
The rule has been challenged in at least 11 high courts on many grounds. Critics say keeping out those interested in studying the subject is not the way to reduce overcrowding. The rule will also restrict lateral entry of professionals from other fields, they say.
Many doctors, engineers, CAs and others take up the law courses later in life to deal with cases related to their areas of specialisation.
The age limit is arbitrary and unreasonable, the critics say. It is also against the principle of equality (Article 14 of the Constitution) and the right to pursue any trade, occupation or profession of choice under Article 19.
The council believes setting an age limit will improve the quality of lawyers and help deal with the challenges posed by liberalisation of the profession.
It had earlier tried to prevent those above 45 from enrolling as lawyers but courts spiked the rule.
NOW TELL ME, WHICH ONE IS CORRECT??