A candidate obtaining Law degree during whole time employment is not entitled to enrolment as Advocate
P. Ramu Versus The Secretary, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, High Court, Chennai on 20, April, 2016
MADRAS HIGH COURT(DB)(Madurai Bench)
A perusal of the above said section would make it clear that a State Bar Council has got powers to make Rules with regard to enrolment. What is required, when Rules are framed, is only an approval of Bar Council of India. According to the petitioner, the Enrolment Rules, which have been framed by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, under Section 28(2)(d) read with Section 24(1) (c) of the Act, are not sustainable, as they were not approved by the Bar Council of India. The Enrolment Rules were already approved by the Bar Council of India and the amendments made to the Enrolment Rules by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, as set out, in its letter dated 14.08.1992, were approved by the Bar Council of India. Therefore, it is clear that the Enrolment Rules of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, framed under Section 28(2)(d) read with Section 24(1)(c) of Advocates' Act, 1961, were approved and even the amendments to the Enrolment Rules were approved by the Bar Council of India resolution dated 31.10.1991 and 01.11.1992. Therefore, it is too late in the day, for the petitioner, to contend that there is no approval by the Bar Council of India.
The very provision is a special provision applicable during the transition period and the contexts mentioned in the section have not arisen. Hence, the plea of the petitioner is liable to be rejected.
From the above extracted portion, it is clear that a candidate shall be qualified to be admitted as an advocate, provided he fulfils the conditions set out under the relevant clause of Section 24 of the Advocates' Act, 1961 read with Rule 1(1)(c) of Bar Council of India Rules. Therefore, it is very clear that a candidate aspiring to be enrolled as an advocate must fulfil the requirements of the Act as well as the Rules. In the penultimate paragraph of the afore cited judgment, the Honourable Apex Court observed thus:
The petitioner herein, having failed to fulfil the conditions required, has filed the present vexatious petition.
14. Former Chief Justice of India, Justice Dr. A.S. Anand, on 31.08.1998, delivered a lecture on "Legal Education in India, Past, Present and Future" in Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation at Chandigarh published in 1998 (3) SCC Journal Section wherein he decried about the position of legal education and getting law degrees in absentia. The relevant portion reads as follows:
15. Many number of cases, with regard to simultaneous study, especially, Law Course, by full-time Government employees and obtaining degrees, in absentia, and conveniently getting enrolled, after superannuaion, are reported. This Court is aware of the above trend and take judicial note of it. They also try to compete with the professionals, who toil in the profession right from their enrolment, at a young age. This is best explained by the Hon'ble Apex Court in S. Seshachalam v. Chairman, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu reported in 2015(1) Recent Apex Judgments (R.A.J.) 231 : 2015 (1) CTC 227 (SC) and paragraphs 26 to 29 are usefully extracted as follows:
Many persons, roaming in the corridors of the Court, one fine day, take the avatar of an "Advocate". This only proves the fact many Law Colleges are selling Law Degrees to unqualified persons and it is evident that anybody can procure a law degree, without even attending classes. This is nothing but "fraud". Procuring Law Degrees, in absentia, while in service as full-time Government Servants/Employees, from Colleges, situated more than 100 kms away and the retired employees, causing a threat to the profession, are there, for the past few decades. A Division Bench of this court, in M. Vetriselvan v. High Court of Judicature at Madras reported in 2015(1) CTC 129 categorically stated that a serving officer cannot carry on his job and cannot get full time degree and paragraph No. 54 of the said judgment is extracted as follows:
This kind of procuring Law Degrees, fraudulently, has to be prevented by Bar Council and action should be taken against those Colleges for selling degrees or conferring degrees to people, who do not attend the classes. It is a matter to be pondered over as to whether it would be possible to get B.E. Degree or M.B.B.S. Degree in this way.
Why Criminal and Communal Elements Enter into Legal Profession?
Abolition of Three Year Courses and Retention of 5 Year Course Alone.
Therefore the Bar Council is directed to positively consider abolishing the three year Law Degree Course and to retain only five year course at the earliest on par with Medical and Engineering courses.
17. As on date, there are about 1200 Law Colleges in India. Two years ago, the number of colleges were 800 and within a span of two years, the same has increased to 1200 and surprisingly, 92 colleges were approved by the Bar Council of India in 2014 and in effect, for every three days, the Bar Council of India accredited one new College. While granting permission to start a new College, the Bar Council of India is supposed to take into consideration, the demand and supply, and thereafter, decide about granting of permission. For example, the number of Chartered Accountants, who were permitted to practise, was only 8% last year. According to the demand, the entry into the profession has to be regulated. However, every year, about 60,000 students are getting enrolled, outweighing the demand, making the profession overcrowded, which needs to be curtailed. This Court hopes that the above facts would be considered by the Bar Council of India, in proper perspective, to improve the standard of legal education as well as the standard of legal profession. Justice K. Ramasamy, retired Supreme Court Judge and a reputed Juristwrote about the importance of legal training in his foreword dated 2.10.1997 to the Book titled "Advocates Practise" By Padala Rama Reddi 1998 edition and it is as follows:
18. The Legal Profession is a noble profession and the members of the profession are supposed to have a thorough knowledge about law and better expertise in the field. A law graduate, by overnight, cannot be transformed into a full-fledged advocate. Any law graduate, without undergoing apprenticeship/training under a Senior, can only be a half-baked advocate. Legal Profession is a service oriented profession. Therefore, a law graduate needs proper training, at least, for a few years to get exposure to various Acts and Developments in Law. Then only, they would be in a position to advise their clients properly.
21. With the above, the writ petition is dismissed. No costs.
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