KOCHI: The future of 400-odd students of the Ernakulam Law College is hanging in the balance, with the Bar Council of India making a startling revelation that the five-year LLB (BA Criminology) course started by the college in 2011 was not recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The BA Criminology course, under the Mahatma Gandhi University, will be completed this year. The lack of recognition will be the end of the road for the students who have spent their valuable time for the course. The shocking revelation came in a reply given by the BAR Council to an RTI query submitted by Geevan T Charles, a student of Law College.
According to the BAR Council of India, the UGC has not recognised any BA Degree course in Criminology. The Council had already issued a showcause notice to the M G University for conducting the course.
“It is the ambition to become a lawyer that prompted me to join this course, and spend my five valuable years. But, the Council’s revelation came as a jolt not only to me, but also to all the other students and their families. As this is not a recognised course, we cannot enrol as advocates. This is really a sad news for all the students,” said Malappuram-native Sibi, another student.
“We can understand if such a situation arises in any self-financing college. But, being a government college, this institution attracted many talented students who wanted to pursue LLB. This is a kind of ‘cheating’,” said Deboraha, another student.
The council’s decision came as a shocker for students of Al Ashar college, Thodupuzha; SN College Poothotta; Bharathmaha College, Thrikkakara and CSI College, Ettumanoor, also, where more than 1,000 students are pursuing the controversial course.
“As per the rule, the Bar Council of India has to visit the college when it starts a new course. However, over the years, no Bar Council official visited the college. We all joined this course through entrance examination conducted by the Controller of Entrance examinations (CEE). The future of over 1,000 students across the State has been spoiled,” said SFI unit secretary Arsho. Meanwhile, College principal Bijukumar refused to comment on the issue.
When contacted, M G University vice-chairman Babu Sebastian said the issue would be sorted out soon.
“We have taken the issue seriously, and have contacted the Bar Council of India. As per rules, the University has the right to design its own courses,” added Babu Sebastian.