CHENNAI: While dismissing a petition from a person seeking promotion as Assistant Secretary in the Law Department, the Madras High Court has upheld the State government’s contention that B.A.L degree (Annamalai University) and B.G.L. degree (Madurai Kamaraj University) were not considered equivalent to B.L. degree.
Justice K.Chandru said there was no doubt that the Law Department’s stand was consistent with the provisions of the Advocates Act and the UGC Act. Therefore, no one could find fault with it.
In her petition, N.Pushpa said she was in possession of B.A.L. degree of Annamalai University and B.G.L. degree offered by Madurai Kamaraj University. But the qualification was not considered equivalent to B.L. She sought to quash a G.O. of February 1991 and a letter of March 1998 of the Law Department.
She said proper seniority should be assigned to her and she should be promoted forthwith as an Assistant Secretary in the department.
Mr. Justice Chandru said it should be noted that the Advocates Act and the Bar Council of India rules undoubtedly covered the field of legal education. Therefore, it could never be contended that the Annamalai University or Madurai Kamaraj University or the Madras University, having been recognised by the UGC, the law degrees given by them also should be accepted.
Since under the Advocates Act its powers to regulate legal education was referable to Entry 66 of List I of VII Schedule of the Constitution, it would certainly prevail over the State Universities Act and Madurai Kamaraj University Act. It could never be contended that they operated on different areas. With regard to a reference to the Madras High Court Service Rules, Mr. Justice Chandru referred to the definition of a law degree in the rules and said having defined so, in the rules a diametrically opposite provision had been made.
Counsel said that when the High Court rules made by the government in consultation with the High Court could recognise even the general degree in law not recognised by the Bar Council of India at least from March 1, 2007, there was no reason why the State government should not accept the said degree. Mr. Justice Chandru also said that it was not clear as to how even the government made rules recognising law degrees that were not recognised by the BCI.