Legal Correspondent

Subject to final outcome of the matter in apex court

New Delhi: The Bar Council of India has granted approval to the SASTRA University in Tamil Nadu to offer five-year B.A. LLB and three year LLB courses from the academic year 2008-09 subject to the outcome of the petitions pending in the Supreme Court.

According to R. Sethuraman, Vice-Chancellor of the University, SASTRA is the first private institution to be granted approval for conducting Law programmes in Tamil Nadu after nearly 25 years. Initially, the BCI inspected the institution and recorded that it had the necessary infrastructure to run law courses. However, the BCI asked the institution to obtain a no-objection certificate from the State government for granting the approval.

On a petition from SASTRA, a single judge of the Madras High Court held that deemed universities need not obtain NOC and asked the BCI to grant the approval. This was affirmed by a Division Bench. The BCI appealed to the Supreme Court against this order. The apex court, while issuing notice, refused to stay the High Court judgment but decided to examine the larger question whether the NOC from the government was necessary for a University.

The BCI, at its meeting held on June 28 and 29 after considering the apex court’s order, granted approval to SASTRA subject to the final outcome of the matter in the apex court.

Prof. Sethuraman said “SASTRA University plans to offer the law programmes in line with premier law schools in the country and also has plans to collaborate with foreign universities and other private law firms to make it one of the country’s finest institutions offering law degrees.” He said former Attorney General G. Ramaswamy had donated his entire library to the institution and the collection of books would benefit law students and the faculty.