Two batches of students of the five-year LL.B. course at the Ernakulam Law College can breathe a sigh of relief after the High Court ordered that the students be awarded additional B.A.L. degrees once they clear their examinations.

A student from the 2009-2014 batch of the college had approached the court as the Mahatma Gandhi University denied him the B.A.L. degree after regulations were revised in 2011.

The court expressed ‘dismay’ at the conduct of the university and ordered that student be granted the B.A.L. degree as he had cleared all qualifying examinations. The order is expected to pave the way for other students from the 2009-2014 and 2010-2015 batches of the five-year LL.B. course also receiving their B.A.L. degrees once they pass the necessary examinations.

The B.A.L. system had been followed in the Mahatma Gandhi University since 1995. Under the system, students received a B.A.L. degree at the end of three years of study in the five-year course and the LL.B. after the fifth year.

The university, however, abruptly lifted the system in 2011-2012 following a request from X semester students of the college seeking permission to appear for their final semester examinations without passing the VI semester.

“Those of us who enrolled in 2009 and 2010 were told we would get B.A.L. degrees when we enrolled. But we were told we wouldn’t get the degree any more because the university lifted the system abruptly,” said a student in the five-year LL.B. course.

The court noted that the lifting of the B.A.L. regulation had been unfair on the students who had originally enrolled for a course that would give them two degrees.

Students of the college hailed the court’s verdict as those who cleared all examinations up to the VI semester from the two batches can now expect to earn their B.A.L. degrees.