‘Shut down letter-pad law colleges’
If Madras HC Has Its Way, 85% Of Institutions Must End Ops
Chennai: If Madras high court has its way, about 85% of the country’s 1,200 law colleges will have to be shut down to “maintain the sanctity of the legal profession”.
The Kangaroo court menace by brief-less lawyers is due to ‘letter pad’ law colleges in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka that churn out law graduates in thousands, said the court, adding that the number of law colleges in India should be brought down to around 175 from the existing 1,200-plus as suggested by the former chairman of Bar Council of India, Gopal Subramanium.
Justice N Kirubakaran, pained at the fact that two groups of lawyers were en- gaged recently by Sriperumpudur-based Annai Medical College to take physical possession of the premises, said: “A large number of candidates have purchased law degrees from the letter pad colleges functioning in the bordering states of Tamil Nadu — Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. These people who purchase law degrees from letter pad institutions do not practice before the court. They prefer only to indulge in ‘katta pan- chayat’ under the guise of resolving the civil disputes.”
“In 2014, for every three days, the BCI approved one new college. Instead of bringing excellence in legal education, BCI had institutionalised mediocrity,” the judge said.
Holding the Bar Council of India (BCI) responsible for indiscriminate doling out of permissions to set up new law colleges, the judge said that in 2010 itself Gopal Subramanium had said that the requirement of law colleges in India was only 175. At that time, the nation had only 800 colleges. However, between 2012 and 2014, the number of law colleges rose to 1,200, pointed out Justice Kirubakaran.
On what basis the BCI granted approval for so many colleges, he asked, adding: “Is there any survey conducted by BCI or the Union ministry of law and justice to know the actual requirement of lawyers in the society to decide about the number of law colleges, according to the demand?”
Why should Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have 200 and 125 law colleges (respectively), asked the judge, adding: “Many persons, without even attending the colleges, are able to get law degrees in absentia and some of them are using those degrees only as a shield to hide their criminal activities and many incidents have occurred in Tamil Nadu in which many persons with bogus degrees are accused of so many offences and even found to be murdered.”
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