Bar Council of India opposes higher education commission bill

The Bar Council of India on Wednesday strongly opposed the proposed higher education commission bill, saying it takes away the BCI's power to regulate legal education and hands it over to "outsiders".

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The Bar Council of India on Wednesday strongly opposed the proposed higher education commission bill, saying it takes away the BCI’s power to regulate legal education and hands it over to “outsiders”.

In a statement by the BCI, its chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said that nationwide protests will be held in November in which about one lakh lawyers were expected to participate.

“The council has further resolved to hold protest rallies in all the state capitals as well as in Delhi and ‘gherao’ the parliament during the winter session if the bill is moved and the advocates’ act is not excluded from its ambit,” the BCI said.

Mishra said that the reason to protest was that the “legal education cannot be allowed to be regulated by outsiders, social workers or the teachers”.

The statement said that the BCI has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers demanding that professional legal studies be spared from the purview of the bill.

In its letter to Modi and other ministers, the lawyers’ body explained that it has a sound statutory legal education committee, headed by former judge of the Supreme Court and chief justices, several sitting and former judges of high courts and noted academicians to take care of the standard and regulation of the legal education in the country.

The statement said the BCI will also hold a joint meeting of all state bar councils at its premises in Delhi on October 12 to protest against the bill.

It said that the move to introduce such a bill was proposed last year but with the intervention of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah it was dropped.

The Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission) Bill 2019 repeals the University Grants Commission Act 1956 and introduces the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), which would regulate the standards of higher education in the country.

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