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Annamalai varsity barred from offering LLB courses

The Madras High Court prohibited Annamalai University from offering any law degree irrespective of the rider that those who pass out cannot enrol as advocates without adhering to the standards set by the Bar Council of India (BCI) in the Rules of Legal Education.

Annamalai varsity barred from offering LLB courses
File photo.


“No new students should be admitted to such courses and those already admitted should be instructed to seek alternative admissions in recognised courses. The State should extend all possible assistance in this regard to mitigate the hardship of the affected students,” said the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. 

However, noting that other courses offered by the varsity leading to a master’s degree in laws or diplomas in law fall into a distinct category, the court said the BCI has not set binding standards regarding such courses. “More importantly, the condition that universities offering such courses should be recognised by the BCI would undoubtedly not apply to such courses,” it said. 

Explaining the distinction, the bench said the BCI’s role is a more limited standard-setting role unlike its larger role while recognising universities that offer BL degrees which makes the degree holder to enrol as advocate. 

Penning the judgement, Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy noted “While the university could contend that the BCI is not entitled to enforce the recognition requirement with regard to bachelor of laws degrees that do not enable the holder to apply for enrolment, at a minimum, the standards set by the BCI should have been met.” 

It also held that the three bachelor of laws courses offered by the university contravened the Rules of Legal Education because the standards prescribed were not adhered to. 

The bench was passing orders in a plea moved by Advocate B Ramkumar Adityan seeking to quash the notification issued by Annamalai University calling for admission to LLB (General) and LLB (Academic) through distance education.

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