Free Press Journal

Can they admit students or not? Decision today



BCI to decide whether the 60 non-compliant law colleges in Maharashtra can admit students or not

Mumbai: The fate of over 60 law colleges in the state hangs in balance as the Bar Council of India (BCI) will decide in a standing committee meeting in Delhi on Saturday as to whether these colleges can admit students.

Of 127 law colleges in Maharashtra, only 63 were found following BCI norms. Almost all of the compliant ones are private colleges. “It is the government and government-aided colleges which don’t follow norms,” said a source from the BCI.

While some of these colleges have as many as 900 students, they have only two or three full-time teachers. As per BCI norms, there should be a teacher for every 40 students. Many of them also have not been paying inspection fees that they are required to pay the BCI periodically. “But it is not their fault, but that of the government. The government would not fill teacher vacancies even after repeated requests by these colleges,” said a law college professor.

Till 2010, many of the non-compliant colleges enjoyed a deemed status. Hence, there were no BCI inspections over them. But since the past few years BCI inspections on government and private-aided colleges found these colleges flouting norms. Even then, last year colleges that were not approved by the BCI conducted admissions.

Last month, a Bombay High Court order made it mandatory for colleges to be approved by the BCI in order to conduct admissions. Thereafter, the state Common Entrance Test (CET) cell contacted the BCI for a list of approved law colleges.

“We are waiting for the list of approved colleges, only then we can start the admission process,” said Chandrashekar Oak, Commissioner of the state CET cell.

Admissions to law colleges have been delayed by over two months already, leaving students and teachers worried. This year the classes will begin only in mid-October, 15 October being set as the deadline for conducting all law CET admissions. Law CET was conducted for the first time this year.

“First term examinations will have to be held in November-December. How will we finish the portions within a month? As per University rules we have to conduct three months of classes before exams,” said Prof. U K Nambiar, Principal of a law college in Airoli.