Notice Ordered on Petition by LLB Graduates
The Supreme Court has ordered notice on a petition from law degree holders, who studied LLB in other states or joined the course after they crossed 30 years of age, challenging their removal from the register by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The Bar Council has been issuing show-cause notices to LLB holders who either joined the course after they turned 30 or enrolled in Tamil Nadu after completing law courses in other states.
A division bench of justices S J Mukhopadhaya and Ranjan Gogoi issued the notice to the Bar Council and more than 30 law colleges and universities in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The petition was filed by the TN LLB Advocates Association questioning the Bar Council’s order. Faulting a February 3 order of a single judge of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, the petition said the High Court had failed to note that Clause 28, Rule 11 of the Rule of Legal Education 2008 prescribed by the Bar Council of India (BCI), prescribing 30 as the maximum age limit, had been repealed. The clause was challenged before various high courts and the Punjab and Haryana High Court even held it arbitrary and struck it down. Battling similar petitions in several states, the BCI moved the Supreme Court to transfer all pending cases to the apex court itself. On September 29, 2013, the BCI withdrew the offending clause through a resolution, said the petitioner-association.
This being so, the High Court ought not to have directed the State Bar Council to suspend or remove those who joined law courses after crossing the ‘maximum age limit’ of 30. The BCI, in its resolution No 231/2013 has withdrawn the offending clause 28, Schedule III, Rule 11 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008. This resolution was also published in the Gazette of India extraordinary dated October 31, 2013. Showcause notices were issued to 400 lawyers who were enrolled after June 2009 and they were now being ‘de-enrolled’. The total number of lawyers who will be affected by the act of the Bar Council is more than 1,000, the petition said, adding that several hundred candidates who had completed LLB courses were not being enrolled on the ground that they had crossed 30.