JS Khehar and Rohinton Fali Nariman JJ ‘s bench upholds the verdict of Madras High court about the amendment in clause of rules of legal education. And amendment related procedure was not followed properly by BCI stated by the High Court.
The dispute has its genesis in the introduction of a Rule fixing the age limit for the law course. In 2008, the BCI introduced Clause 28 in Schedule III of the Rules on Standards of Legal Education (Rules) framed under the Advocates Act, 1961. Under this clause, law courses were to have a fixed upper age limit of 20 years for the 5-year course (22 for SC/ST) and 30 years for the 3-year LLB course (35 for SC/ST).
According to the Punjab & Haryana High Court, In 2011, held that the Rule was irrational.
Mr. S. Prabhakaran, the BCI member of the committee(One man) was appointed to re-consideration, In 2013 and it was held that the clause was violative of article 14 of Indian constitution. Then the rule by BCI was withdrawn.
But the writ petition was filed by B Ashok, an advocate of Madras High Court alleging contravention of the amendment procedure under the Rules by BCI and
The writ was allowed with a Bench of S Manikumar and VM Velumani holding that,
“We are of the view that Clause 28 under Schedule-III to Rule 11 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008, has been amended, without following the provisions of the Act and the Rules made thereunder.”
and the matter continues to be confusing as the age clause still stands as it was.
But Bombay high court added its own declaration for the non existence of Rule 28. Yasmin Tavaria, an advocate had challenged the constitutionality of Clause 28.
After all these conflicts and differences , the BCI challenged the Madras High Court judgement in supreme court adn the petition of BCI was as below
“It is most humbly stated and submitted that learned Division Bench [of Madras High Court] failed to appreciate that the dismissal of Special Leave Petition (C) No. 13846 of 2010 filed by the Writ Petitioner therein in limine cannot be said to be affirmation of the said Order dated 09.09.2009 passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Madras in W. P. No. 14877 of 2009 titled as M. Santhosh Antony Vareed vs. Registrar, Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Tamil Nadu by this Hon’ble Court.
It is further stated and submitted that Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana and Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Madras have expressed exactly opposite opinions in respect of the competence of the petitioner for framing the Clause 28 of Rule 11 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008 and as such, the same requires consideration and adjudication by this Hon’ble Court to settle the issue for once and all in the interest of the legal profession.”
and the case was dismissed by supreme court.
But the question of fact of clause 28 still arises after all this!