BCI can’t implement full ban on new institutes: HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the Bar Council of India (BCI) cannot enforce a complete ban on the opening of new law educational institutes for imparting legal education.

The judgment, paving the way for opening of new law colleges, is significant as the BCI had refused to grant approval to more than 300 institutions, which had obtained an NOC from state governments across the country and affiliation by the universities.

Setting aside the resolution vide which the moratorium was imposed for three years for grant of approval to the new law institutes, the High Court asserted it did not stand the test of judicial scrutiny and was violative of Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

The BCI had, in August last year, imposed a moratorium on opening of new law colleges for three years — a decision that was challenged in different High Courts across the country.

Taking up a petition filed against the BCI and other respondents by the Chandigarh Educational Society through counsel HS Brar, Justice Rekha Mittal asserted the BCI undoubtedly could issue guidelines and circulars. It could also press for its compliance, but could not impose a complete ban on new institutes.

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