Mumbai: No more evening school for aspiring lawyers

Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 10:08 IST | Pallavi Smart

BCI’s new circular prohibits law colleges from scheduling evening courses; says practice certificates won’t be issued

The circular issued by the BCI
The circular issued by the BCI

If you are a student pursuing a law degree from one of the evening colleges in the city, it’s time to freak out. In its latest circular, the Bar Council of India has stated that those completing law from an evening college will not be given the certificate to practice. Cherry on top: Three such city colleges are top-notch government-aided colleges.

The Ambedkar Law College, VPM’s Thane Lal College and Jitendra Chauhan College of Law operate in the evening and with a capacity of 900 students each, 2,700 students’ future now hangs in the balance. The circular in question that is wreaking havoc, states that each college should complete five-and-a-half hours of teaching everyday before 7 pm.

Bar states
Citing the timing rule from the 2008 Law Education Regulations, the circular states, “It has been found that the colleges were running evening classes beyond the said period. It is a clear violation of rule. Hence students passing from here will not be entitled to right to practice.”

Clarifying the rationale, a BCI officer said, “The issue has suddenly come into the focus, as recent observations of colleges by BCI proved they have been compromising on quality of education. Most of these colleges are running with only two-three full-time faculties, while others are coming as visiting faculty. Hence, the regulations have been reiterated with formality.”

Colleges speak out
Prof Jaymangal Dhanraj, principal of Ambedkar Law College said, “We have received the circular, and it has been forwarded to management to take required decision.” However, principal of Thane Law College, Dr Srividya Jayakumar said, “We have now changed timings of the college and it has been intimated to BCI. However, several students have approached me with their difficulties.”

What of the students?
However, it is the students who are most affected by this sudden change of stance. A student from Ambedkar Law College said, “I took admission here because of the timings. If it is changed to day, I won’t be able to attend lectures as I am already working in a law firm.”

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