Madras High Court has hit out at a private university for “usurping the power of Bar Council of India” in fixing the quantum of attendance and denying three students permission to pursue their law degree course in third year.
The three students B Murugan, V Karthikeyan and M Radhika were denied permission to pursue their third year BA BL course in Saveetha School of Law, Saveetha University, for not fulfilling the college norms of having 80 per cent attendance in each subject. The students have above 80 per cent attendance in all subjects except one or two.
Justice V Dhanapalan after hearing the petitions of three students stated that as far as legal education is concerned the regulating body is Bar Council of India whose rules contemplate a minimum of 70 per cent attendance.
“When that is the position, the university, under the guise of achieving higher standards and excellence, is usurping the power of BCI and insisting on certain standards beyond what is contemplated under the rules and regulations of the controlling body,” the judge stated. “Various law universities and law schools in India have aimed to achieve excellence in legal education but they are within the parameters of the rule of law and the dictum laid down by the Bar Council of India,” the judge observed.
“Though these petitioners have a shortage of attendance in some subjects, they fulfil the criterion of having 70 per cent overall attendance, as prescribed by Bar Council Of India,” the judge stated.