Students and principals of law colleges in the city were an angry lot yesterday after the University of Mumbai announced a change in the law exam schedule. The exams will now commence from November 27 instead of October 29.
Colleges claimed that the change was made to give some breathing space to law students wanting to appear for the CA exams early next month. Law college principals alleged that although it was against the rules of the Bar Council to allow a law student to pursue a second course, the university was obliging such students instead of cancelling their admission.
“When the university called me to ask whether it could change the dates of the law exams, I bluntly said no,” principal of New Law College, Matunga Road, N M Rajadhyaksha said. “Except ad hoc courses, students pursuing law from the university cannot do any other course. But here students are giving the CA exam as well as doing a law course. This is against the university law and also against the Bar Council rules. It’s surprising that instead of cancelling the admissions of these law students, the university is helping them. What is happening is against the rules, and that’s why no reason is cited for the schedule change in the circular announcing it.”
Another possible reason for the change is that the exams of some other graduate courses are scheduled early next month, and holding law exams at the same time would have been difficult for colleges as they lack the infrastructure to accommodate so many students.
The circular announcing the postponement put up on the university website drew sharp reactions, particularly since the university had also given students a shock when it had ann- ounced the original, October 29 schedule. Then, students had expected the exam would be held from November-end. Sources said the university had at first wanted to hold the exams from November 22, but then suddenly declared October 29 as the commencement date.
The sudden change in exam schedule yesterday meant many principals were unaware of it.
“I have no idea about this development in the law exam timetable,” KC Law College principal Dr Ashok Yende said.
The change will hit the plans of students who are working as most of them have already applied for leave.
Shivendra Dwivedi, a second-year LLB student, said: “I was to go for a trekking camp in Himachal, but now I will have to cancel my plans as they clash with my exams.”
Giselle Martin, another SY LLB student, said: “Exams postponed? The question is whether it is bliss or a curse for students? It is bliss for the unprepared and a curse for the over-prepared.”
V Singh, also from SY LLB, said: “It seems the Mumbai University isn’t serious about law students and the law course. Had it been so, it would not have changed the dates in the last two exams for the sake of some examinations of another subject. Even in May this year, the university, with a few days left for the exam, had deferred one paper. This time it has postponed the whole exam. This is unacceptable. I had booked my tickets to go to my hometown after my exams, but now I will have to cancel these and even suffer losses for the cancellation.”
The other side
DG Wasave, deputy registrar, examinations section, who holds the additional charge of controller of examinations, said: “The CA exams are scheduled around the same time as the old law exam timetable. Due to technical problems and requests from a lot of students, we had to make changes in the timetable of the law examination this time. The circular on the change of the schedule has not been sent to principals yet, but it will go to everyone by Saturday.”