Report No. 266
D. Legal Position
12.11 The Supreme Court, through its decision in the matter of Bar Council of India v. Board of Management, Dayanand College of Law40, surveyed the statutory powers available to BCI under the provisions of the Advocates Act, as well as the Rules framed thereunder, and concluded that BCI was concerned with the standards of the legal profession and legal education in the country.
12.12 In Prem Chand Jain & Anr. v. R K Chhabra41, the Supreme Court emphasised at length the role and responsibility of University Grants Commission (UGC) vis-à-vis the regulation of standards of higher education in India.
12.13 The decision of the Supreme Court in the matter of University of Delhi v. Raj Singh42, is illuminative in this regard. The Supreme Court held that regulations framed by UGC prescribing qualifications for teaching staff would override and prevail over all other legislations in this regard. UGC's regulatory character was succinctly reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Prof. Yashpal v. State of Chhattisgarh43, as well.
12.14 The BCI is envisaged as a body for regulating the minimum standards to be maintained by institutions imparting legal education, and the Rules framed by BCI in exercise of its powers under the Advocates Act, indeed provide for a comprehensive framework for the evaluation of institutions on de minimis criteria. However, a need for the qualitative improvement of the Bar has been long felt, and has also been the subject matter of judicial attention in V. Sudeer v. Bar Council of India44. Two measures have been recognised as imperative for the melioration of the standards of the legal profession, i.e., introduction of a bar examination as well as compulsory requirement of apprenticeship under a senior lawyer prior to admission to the Bar.
12.15 In 1994, in order to check the declining standards of the legal profession, a High Powered Committee on Legal Education, headed by Justice A.H.Ahmadi was constituted. This Committee recommended and reiterated the requirement for apprenticeship and a bar examination. The Bar Council of India (Training) Rules, 1995, were, therefore, framed by BCI in furtherance to the recommendations of the said Committee, which were struck down by the Supreme Court in V. Sudeer45.