The Delhi High Court today sought the response of the Centre, the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Delhi University (DU) on a plea against reducing the number of seats in the LLB course at the university. Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar posted the matter for further hearing on June 5. The plea filed by advocate Joginder Kumar Sukhija said a large number of students will be affected if the seats for the course at the varsity were reduced and infringe their legal and fundamental right to higher education of their choice.
According to the decision taken by the BCI and the DU Law Faculty, the university will only admit 1,440 students to its LLB course from the academic year 2017- 2018. The faculty has been catering 2,310 students for over four decades. The plea also said that by reducing the seats, public money, which is used to provide grant to the varsity, was not being put to optimal use.
“The varsity is a public funded educational institution receiving grants from University Grants Commission, and by reducing number of admissions, the public money is not put to optimum use. The objective of establishing public funded educational institutions is to provide an opportunity for higher education to a large number of students,” it said.
The PIL sought a direction to strike down clause 5 A of Schedule-III of Rules of Legal Education 2008 enacted by the BCI, claiming it was arbitrary, capricious and violative of fundamental rights. It also said that reducing the number of seats violated the provisions of the Constitution.
“It is humbly submitted that to attain higher education is part of Right to Life and thus the clause is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The restriction placed by the clause to admit only upto 300 students in a law college is totally unreasonable and violates Constitution of India,” the plea said.