The fate of law graduates waiting to enrol in Tamil Nadu with LLB degrees obtained from law colleges in other States hangs in balance, as a single judge of the Madras High Court bench here on Friday ruled that the validity of their enrolment and their eligibility to practise in the State will be subject to the result of a writ petition.

The petition seeks to prevent LLB degree holders of other States from practising in Tamil Nadu.

In an interim order on a plea by V. Ramesh, a Madurai-based advocate, Justice N. Kirubakaran also directed the Tamil Nadu Bar Council to verify the antecedents of all the law graduates during their enrolment by getting police verification certificates.

Impleading the Director General of Police (DGP) of Tamil Nadu as a party to the case on his own, Justice Kirubakaran instructed the DGP to submit details of law graduates who indulged in criminal activities in Tamil Nadu.

“In view of the fact that there are more than 100 law colleges in Karnataka and about 100 law colleges in Andhra Pradesh, the Bar Councils and the Chief Secretaries of the two States have to explain what is the necessity for so many law colleges,” the judge said.

According to the petitioner, law colleges in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are responsible for the increase in number of advocates enrolling in the Tamil Nadu Bar Council. Most of those who graduated in other States, indulged in various illegal activities, he claimed. Mr. Ramesh further alleged that the colleges in the two States admitted candidates who did not even have the basic qualification through a nexus with brokers.

The judge refused to stay enrolment of fresh graduates with LLB degrees, but held that their enrolment will be subject to the outcome of the case.

The issue raised by the petitioner needs to be addressed urgently in view of the several illegal activities committed by a few people claiming to be advocates, Justice N. Kirubakaran observed in his order. “The allegations made by the petitioner are shocking and they create a bad picture about the legal profession in the minds of the public. If these elements are not flushed out from the system, it will bring disrepute to the legal profession,” the Judge further noted.

He ordered notice to the Bar Council of India, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Bar Federation, the Chairman of Law Commission, the Chairman of University Grants Commission and the Secretaries of the Union Law Ministry and Human Resources Development Ministry, besides the Chief Secretaries and the Bar Councils of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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