Special Correspondent

“Minimum of 60 per cent marks may be prescribed for admission”

“College hours should be increased from four to five or six hours”

No provision in the rules for condoning the age limit: judge

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has suggested scrapping, in a phased manner, of the three-year law course, as the five-year integrated course had been introduced to replace it.

It has also suggested that classes in law colleges have to be conducted like a regular college on the lines of the National Law School. Attendance should be made mandatory. College hours should be increased from four to five or six hours and classes conducted in the morning and afternoon so that students would stick to their studies.

Disposing of a writ petition, Justice N. Kirubakaran has also recommended that a minimum of 60 per cent marks may be prescribed for getting admission to law colleges so that comparatively more competent, bright and intelligent students would enroll. It would enhance the quality and competence in the legal profession. If necessary, the antecedents of students may be verified before admitting them.

The Judge said he was making the suggestions regarding quality law education and the government and Bar Council of India (BCI) may take note of them.

In his petition, M. Santhosh Antony Vareed challenged the age limit of 30 years as on June 1, 2009 fixed for three-year B.L. degree course. He sought to quash it and a consequent direction to Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University to accept his application. As he was overage by eight days, he missed the chance to apply for the law course.

Mr. Justice Kirubakaran said the BCI, after many deliberations to enhance the quality of law education and to streamline the procedure for admission, brought out changes. One such condition was fixing the age limit for admission.

He said the relief sought for could not be granted. Moreover there was no provision in the rules for condoning the age limit. “Any academic course requires age limit for getting admission. A young mind can be moulded whereas a matured mind cannot be moulded very easily.” Fixing of age limit for admission would bring uniformity among students.

Mr. Justice Kirubakaran said the time had come to revamp and upgrade legal education. Fixing the age limit was a step in the right direction.

“Only when right and bright students are admitted to law colleges… talented people will come out of the law colleges and they alone can play important role in protecting rule of law, democracy and administration of justice.”

When the petitioner’s counsel sought leave of the court to file a representation to the university submitting his grievances and the same may be directed to be disposed of, the Judge directed the petitioner to make the representation within one week. The university was at liberty to dispose it of in accordance with law within two weeks thereafter.