DU Law admissions and BCI’s Decision to cut seats, students’ protests: explained

du lawFaculty of Law at Delhi University (DU) is not only one of the earliest law Colleges of India but also one of the largest ones. The college has consistently been ranked in the top 3 colleges providing 3 year law courses in India, although this ranking is highly controversial. However, there is no doubt that DU has churned out some of the brightest and most famous lawyers of India, and also boasts of one of the best faculty in the country, easily comparable on this parameter with any national law university. For a 3 years LLB course, this is definitely a top choice along with GLC Mumbai, ILS Pune, AMU and BHU.

Notifications for the delay in Admissions

The academic session of Delhi University’s Law Faculty has been delayed this year with the varsity postponing counselling for first-year LLB students, thus leaving the aspirants worried. On July 21, the University issued a circular and said that due to “unavoidable circumstances”, the session was being postponed. The reason for the delay is the university cannot begin the admission process without a go -ahead from the Bar Council of India (BCI)—the authority that controls legal education in the country. The BCI was to submit the first report of the inspection of the new building it conducted on July 19 and then depending on the report, the admissions were suppose to start.

Following the order from the court, the BCI will decide on the number of students the university will admit this year and take a decision on the affiliation. At present, the Law Faculty does not have an affiliation from the BCI. Till last year, the University took 2,100 students in the first year. If the BCI rule is followed, the number could be reduced to 900.

For the second time, Delhi University on Thursday notified that the Faculty of Law’s counselling schedule could not be released “due to legal hurdles”, leaving students who appeared for its entrance test in the lurch. The university had proposed to shift the three law centres — Law Centre 1, Campus Law Centre (CLC) and Law Centre 2 to a new building at Chhatra Marg in north campus, near the law faculty’s current location.

Protests staged by the students

Then followed the outburst among the law students of Delhi University (DU) leading to a protest outside the Bar Council of India (BCI), Delhi, whose decision to shut down colleges that offer evening courses in law resulted in a major seat cut. There are over 800 students that are currently pursuing law in evening colleges affiliated to Delhi University and this decision comes as a setback to every student attempting to balance their work and study law. BCI asked the DU to shut down these colleges after their inspection yielded unsatisfactory results with respect to the infrastructure and the quality of education provided.

Protesting against the delay in admission to Delhi University’s Faculty of Law, aspiring law students and members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Monday threw out furniture from the Dean’s office and locked it. Tables, chairs and even sofas were removed from the office of the Dean, Professor SC Raina, by ABVP members after Delhi University Students’ Union President Satender Awana called for a “seizure” of the faculty.

Hunger Strike by the aspirants

Delhi University law faculty aspirants have started a hunger strike against the delay in counselling for admission and the proposal to reduce seats. In a report sent to the university, the Bar Council of India (BCI) said there can be only 8 sections with 60 students in each of the three centres.

This means the university will only admit 1,440 students as against the 2,310 seats declared by DU. As the university law faculty does not have any affiliation, it will have to follow BCI norms. Due to this legal hurdle, the admission counselling has not taken place. Students have started the strike to put pressure on the administration to take some action.

Conclusion

The new notice issued by the Delhi University said the counselling schedule will be updated by August second week. The next date of hearing in the court is on August 22. Is DU going to wait for it? Even if the session does start by August, when will the syllabus be completed? are some of the unanswered questions.

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