The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed all further proceedings pending in various High Courts initiated against the Bar Council of India challenging the Legal Education Rules, 2008 that fixed the age and minimum qualifying marks for admission to a law college.

For the five-year integrated law degree course, the upper age limit was fixed at 22 for reserved category and 20 for general category; for the three-year law degree course the limit was 35 for the reserved category and 30 for others.

The Rules further stipulated a minimum of 45 per cent marks in the case of general category applicants and 40 per cent for SC and ST applicants in the qualifying higher secondary examinations for admission to the five/three-year courses.

A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar stayed all further proceedings in several High Courts on a batch of petitions filed by the Bar Council of India seeking transfer of over 60 cases pending across the country.

The Bench issued notice on the transfer petitions. The BCI submitted that several writ petitions pending adjudication in various High Courts raised similar issues of substantial and general importance; it would be in the interest of justice if the matter were decided by the Supreme Court.

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