Continuing the stand against the proposed Higher Education and Research Bill the Bar Councils in a joint statement released Tuesday, convened a meeting for May 4. The meeting is to discuss and work out a future course of action. The statement however warns of action if required.
The proposed Bill seeks the constitution of a National Commission constituting academicians to look into legal education in the country, which the Bar Council of India (BCI) says will deprive the lawyers to have their say in the formulation and implementation of policies involving legal education at the professional and educational level.
Newly elected BCI Chairman, MK Mishra said that it will curb the functions and powers entrusted to it and State Bar Councils in matters relating to legal education in the country. “The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) is not the authority to control the legal profession or legal education,” Mishra added.
“These Bills are against the Federal Structure of the Constitution and give a complete monopoly to the HRD Ministry in the matters of education. The entire policy and all the decision are sought to be done by a handful of nominees of Union Government under these Bills,” the BCI stated.
The BCI also raised the issue of allowing foreign academic institutions and law firms in India, a move the council has always objected. “Only a few and selected lawyers of the country, nearer to some Foreign Law Firms and foreign Institutions are sought to be benefited at the cost of millions of law students and lawyers and hundreds of Institutions. The lawyers are, therefore, ready to oppose these Bills tooth and nail,” the BCI stated.