The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to examine afresh the Delhi University's (DU) representation to induct 2,310 students in its LLB course as against 1,440 fixed by the lawyers' body.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and C Hari Shankar told the BCI that its Legal Education Committee (LEC), scheduled to meet from June 17-19, shall "independently" consider the varsity's representation and the report of its inspection, to decide how many students can be inducted this year.
The court said that the LEC will take a decision "uninfluenced" by the BCI's rejection of the DU's representation.
It told the lawyers' body that the LEC will communicate its decision in writing to the Dean of the Law Faculty of the DU on or before June 24, along with a copy of the inspection report.
It said that the decision and inspection report be also placed before the court on the next date of hearing on June 27.
The order came after the BCI told the bench that its committee inspected the three centres of the Law Faculty on June 9 and has given a report which would be placed before the LEC when it meets for three days from June 17.
The court had on June 7 told the lawyers' body that if the varsity has paid the fees for inspection of its centres, then the BCI should follow the rules and carry out the exercise.
It had also noted that the BCI had not dealt with the various claims made by the DU while rejecting its representation to induct 2,310 students in its law course.
The court had said that the BCI's rejection letter was not a reasoned order as it failed to deal with the DU's claim that the university had improved its infrastructure.
It had, however, allowed the university to advertise for 1,440 seats only this year for its law course, saying it would be subject to final outcome of a PIL by a lawyer who has sought that the seats be increased to 2,310.
The PIL, filed by lawyer Joginder Kumar Sukhija, has claimed that a large number of students, especially those who have done their graduation, would be affected if the seats were reduced.
The petitioner has also said that by reducing the seats, public money, which was used to provide grant to the varsity, was not being put to optimal use.
The PIL has sought a direction to strike down Rule 5 A of the Legal Education Rules, claiming it was arbitrary, capricious and violative of the fundamental rights.
Under Rule 5 A, the number of seats per college or centre is capped at 300 which would come to a total of 900 seats for the DU's three law centres. However, this limit can be relaxed under the exception clause.
According to the BCI, the DU has been given the benefit of the exception clause which was why it has been allowed to induct 1,440 students.