New Delhi: Former Bar Council of Delhi Chairman and senior advocate KC Mittal has urged Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud to use his good offices to remove disparities in legal education and the profession and improve working conditions.
“After globalization, private law colleges have come up as a commercial venture, without any proper regulations and assessment of the requirements of legal professionals. A large number of groups/societies took it as a business to make money,” Mittal said in a letter to the CJI.
Mittal blamed “mushrooming of law colleges” as one of the reasons why “anti-social elements get Law Degrees”. In his letter, Mittal sought to put focus on what he termed as disparities in the legal education and the legal profession, calling it a “matter of great concern”.
Significantly, the former Bar Council of Delhi Chairman, said there has been an attempt “to erode the basic structure and independence of the judiciary”. But followed up with the statement that the Indian judiciary had “withstood every sinister attempt to undermine and malign it.”
His letter went on to claim there were around 1,900 law colleges across the country, with private colleges accounting for the lion share – almost 75% of the total law colleges. Pointing out that the present trend was towards commercialisation of the legal profession, Mittal clearly sought to draw the CJIs attention, to bring a change in the profession.
The fact that the Bar Council of India comes into the picture in granting affiliation to a University, much later in the process, was also focused on. It was, he said, after being granted a provisional NOC by the state government that the BCI would be brought it.
“As a first step, consent for affiliation is required from a University and after affiliation, the party who intends to establish and set up a Law College, informs BCI, and thereafter, to the State Government for Provisional NOC.
It may be pertinent to note that what should be the number of colleges in a particular State, or whether colleges should be opened or not, no assessment is being made nor BCI has any role at that stage, because this is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Universities and the State Government,” Mittal wrote.
This, he said, gave the authorities a say in granting affiliation and a provisional NOC at their own “whims and fancies”, in the absence of any regulatory mechanism. The process, he said, much later sees the BCI’s intervention, with it being asked to conduct inspection on the college infrastructure, and if it follows the Council’s rules.