Delhi HC Rejects PIL to Constitute Legal Education Commission

Legal Education Commission_LegallySpeaking

The Delhi High Court on Thursday declined to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction for the Central Government to establish a Legal Education Commission similar to the Medical Education Commission.

The proposed commission would comprise retired judges, law professors, and lawyers to assess the viability of a four-year Bachelor of Law Course akin to the existing B. Tech Course. A bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora stated that it is not within the court’s purview to design courses and that relevant authorities are continually reviewing them.

As the court leaned towards dismissing the PIL, petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a practicing lawyer and BJP leader, expressed his intention to withdraw the plea. Upadhyay sought directions for the Bar Council of India to form an expert committee of retired judges, jurists, and educationists to examine the coherence of a five-year Bachelor of Law Course with the New Education Policy 2020.

The plea further requested the committee to assess the necessity of a BA, BBA, B.Com before pursuing B.Law, which is also a graduation course. It stated that while the New Education Policy 2020 promotes four-year graduation courses, the BCI has neither reviewed the five-year BA-LLB nor initiated the four-year B. Law. Upadhyay argued that B. Tech through IIT’s offers a focused four-year education, whereas BA-LLB or BBA-LLB through NLUs and other affiliated colleges spans five years, including unrelated and superfluous subjects. This, according to the plea, renders the existing five-year course arbitrary and irrational.

The lengthy and costly nature of the course dissuades students from pursuing law, with many opting for engineering or civil services instead. Upadhyay contended that both BA and LLB or BBA and LLB are graduation courses, making one redundant in a student’s career. Additionally, the annual fees for a five-year course are significantly higher than those for a four-year course.

The plea highlighted that previously, there was a three-year B.Law Course after Class 12, citing examples of former Law Minister Late Ram Jethmalani and legal luminary Late Fali Nariman, who commenced their legal careers at young ages.

With the current lifespan decreasing and the voting age lowered, Upadhyay argued that a four-year law course would be better suited for the younger generation. He criticized the present five-year B.Law as a means of extracting money under the guise of education, asserting that it does not serve as a benchmark for evaluating legal expertise.

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte