In a bid to ‘purify’ legal profession, Madras High Court on Tuesday issued the orders to Bar Council of India. Madurai Bench ordered BCI to scrap three-year law degree courses as soon as possible. The court insisted on continuing with five-year law courses in the stream which are more or less equal to medical and engineering professional degree courses.
The order was passed by the bench when the court came across observation that criminal elements would opt to get or try ‘purchasing’ only three-year law degree as they would normally have crossed the age of 21.
The observation was made by Justice N. Kirubakaran while hearing the petition forwarded by advocate S.M. Anantha Murugan. The petition was filed for seeking a direction to prevent intrusion of persons having criminal antecedents without studying Bachelor of Law degree.
Justice Kirubakaran emphasized over the fact that extraordinary situations demand extraordinary remedies. He said, “While dealing with an unprecedented case, the court has to innovate the law and may also pass an unconventional order keeping in mind that an extraordinary situation requires extraordinary measures.” Further he said, “The BCI shall not enroll any law graduate with pending criminal cases except bailable and compoundable.”
The bench passed a detailed 112-page order in which central government has been asked to think about the matter positively. Thereafter within 6 months, the functions that are performed by the Bar Council of India should be entrusted to an authority. The same should be headed by retired Supreme Court Judge permanently till the time Advocates’ Act and Bar Council rules are re-examined.
Further the committee has been ordered to appoint legal luminaries, academicians, top social workers, police officials, retired IAS officials and doctors as members. Justice Kirubakaran also directed BCI to reduce number of seats in law colleges drastically and also number of colleges.
The committee has also been asked to withdraw approval given to Bar and Advocates associations prevailing in respective states. Bar council of India has also been issued the orders to withdraw recognition which was given to various Bar or Advocates Associations in last 20 years so that one court-one Bar Association policy is followed and Bar Associations work in a smooth manner.