Updated 29 May 2022, 8:04 pm
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir of the Manipur High Court has directed the Bar Council of Manipur to enrol LMS Law College passed-out students as advocates of the Council.
The direction was issued following a public interest litigation filed by students of LMS Law College praying that the students who had completed three-year LLB degree course in the year 2021, from LMS Law College, Imphal affiliated to Dhanamanjuri University, Imphal, and others have not been allowed to enrol as advocates to the Bar Council of Manipur.
As many as 84 students took admission in the year 2018 at LMS Law College as the 1st Batch of Dhanamanjuri University, which was established under the Dhanamanjuri University Act, 2017.
The LMS Law College is the only law college in Manipur imparting legal education affiliated to Dhanamanjuri University, but the Bar Council of Manipur (BCM) allegedly denied enrolling them as advocates on the ground that the LMS Law College under Dhanamanjuri University is not recognised by the Bar Council of India.
The students of LMS Law College mentioned that LMS Law College before its affiliation to Dhanamanjuri University was affiliated to the Manipur University. The Bar Council of India recognised the LMS Law College while it was affiliated to the Manipur University.
In the academic session 2018-19, the college in a transitional stage imparting legal education was partly under Manipur University and partly under the Dhanamanjuri University, they stated.
The petitioners (students) along with other students about 84 in numbers passed LLB from LMS Law College on November 20, 2021. However, they were allegedly denied enrolment by the bar council of Manipur as advocates.
They approached the High Court of Manipur, stating that AIBE (All India Bar Exam) which is held twice in a year is likely to be held in the month of June 2022. Unless one is enrolled as an advocate in the State Bar Council, they will not be allowed to appear in the AIBE. The online registration of the exam is going on and will be closed at the end of May, 2022.
Therefore, the students prayed to the HC to direct the authorities concerned to expedite the process of recognition of Dhanamanjuri University by the Bar Council of India.
They also prayed to direct the Bar Council of India to immediately recognise Dhanamanjuri University as one its affiliated University and to allow the petitioners and others who have passed out from the LMS Law College on November 20, 2021, affiliated to Dhanamanjuri University to enrol them as advocates before the State Bar Council.
It may be mentioned that on March 14, 2021, the joint secretary of BCI (Bar Council of India) had addressed the registrar Dhanamanjuri University, Manipur regarding the recognition of Dhanamanjuri University, Manipur as an affiliating University of the Law College under its jurisdiction for the purpose of enrolling the students as advocates. The latter also stated that the Bar Council had apprised the DMU registrar that recognition of the new University for the purpose of granting degree in law for an enrolment as advocates is under process.
The letter mentioned the constitution of the inspection team for the inspection of the University as well as about the decision to be taken by the standing committee of the Legal Education Committee of the Bar Council of India and further appraised that the entire process may take one month.
The Bar Council of India conducted the virtual inspection but the authorities are reportedly silent concerning the recognition of the DMU by the Bar Council of India till date.
First published:29 May 2022, 8:04 pm
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IFP Reporter, IMPHAL, Manipur