Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to explain within four weeks how it can place an age limit on pursuing law courses.
On 17th September, the Joint Secretary, BCI had issued a circular reviving Rule 28 of Legal Education Rules, 2008 which deals with an age restriction for taking law course. As per the rule, the upper age limit for three year LLB course is 30 years and that for a five year course is 20 years.
The BCI circular was challenged by Student Law Council, a students’ association. The petitioners argued that by the time the BCI put out the circular a round of admissions was already over and that the circular comes belated. Law aspirants had already spent a lot of time preparing for the test.
They also argued that out of 26,000 vacant seats, there are only 23,000 names in the final merit list, with 3000 seats already going vacant.
“If the age-limit is brought, another few thousands of seats may go vacant,” said advocate of the petitioner Pradnya Talekar. She said that even if the rule is brought into effect, it must be done only from next academic year.
“Legal education is a fundamental right under Article 21. It cannot be compared to any other professional course,” Talekar said.
The fate of aspirants of the state who are above the upper age limit will depend on the outcome of the petition.