The Bar Council of India (BCI) today stated before the Supreme Court that the decision to do away with the one-year LLM program will be implemented from the academic year 2022-23.
A petition had been filed by the Consortium of NLUs along with two individual candidates (Tamanna Chandan Chanchlani and Rishab Soni) against the BCI Legal Education Rules, 2020. The matter is being heard before the bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna, and Justice V Ramasubramanian.
The new Rules stipulate two-year LL.M programs instead of the current one-year LL.Ms. It also specifies a new entrance exam and disregards one-year foreign LL.Ms as well. As of today, it hasn’t been notified when the Rules would come into effect.
The Consortium was represented by Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi. He argued that BCI doesn’t have the power to regulate all aspects of legal education and these Rules are illegal and unconstitutional. He also added that Consortium members weren’t consulted before this decision.
Mr. Vivek Tankha appeared on behalf of the BCI Chairman. Under the National Education Policy 2020, except legal and medical education, all higher education is to be regulated by National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC). However, it doesn’t specify any authority for legal education. To fill this void, BCI is arguing that it is the appropriate authority to regulate legal education.
In the hearing today, the Court issued notice and has given four weeks to file the response.