HRD for reforms in law education; seeks Bar Council support

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 30 2009, 05:32am hrs
Strongly advocating re-hauling of legal education to improve quality, HRD minister Kapil Sibal has asked Bar Council of India (BCI) to come on board for augmenting reforms and recommended for a combined degree courses in law and other professional streams.

"It is often, that the lawyers have no knowledge of engineering and engineers do not know law. So, my idea is, why we should not introduce within the system, a two-year engineering and two-year law degree and marry both," HRD minister Kapil Sibal said. On whether BCI is opposed to the reforms, Sibal said BCI has some "misunderstanding" on the issue. "The government does not wish to reform any part of the system which deals with professionals," he said.

Asked if any turf issue has been raised by law minister Veerapa Moily as per some reports, Sibal replied in the negative. "We need to think about India... not Bar Council, not my ministry or your ministry. If somebody has a problem, we need to get together and work it out," he said.

The ministry wanted to involve BCI in the reforms process and, therefore, has set up a round-table for suggesting a road map for reforms in the legal education, he said. "We have to have a dialogue with BCI, that is why I nominated the chairman of BCI as one of the persons in the round-table but he chose not to come. We know where the needs are. We are telling the BCI to please come, join us and be part of the system and give us your input as well, so that we can walk together," he said.

At present, the BCI monitors the legal education and lays down its standards in consultation with universities. On combined professional courses, Sibal said the requirements are multifarious in a developing economy like India.