The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Bar Council of India (BCI) in a petition seeking directions to curb the practice of selling law degrees by “letter pad law colleges” that have seemingly mushroomed in the country. The petition filed by one M Vasantha Raja was heard by a Bench of Justices AK Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer, which has sought the response of BCI.
The petitioner has stated that the practice of selling law degrees has become prevalent in India. Such degrees are obtained without attending regular classes and by writing examinations using the help of proxy persons. This practice is particularly rampant in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, he states. It is alleged that serving government servants, full-time salaried private employees, businessmen, and anti-social elements are the persons who engage in purchasing such law degrees. The petitioner has cited the example of a serving police officer in Chennai to buttress his case.
Contending that allowing such persons who buy law degress to enrol and practice as lawyers is violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, the petitioner has made, inter alia, the following prayers to : Direct BCI to take necessary action to weed out illegally purchased law degree holders and to take steps to stop such illegal elements from entering into the profession in future, Direct BCI to terminate the license of such colleges and universities which indulge in issuance of such illegal law degrees, Direct BCI to take steps to cancel such illegally purchased law degrees including the degree obtained by the police officer in Chennai. The Bench proceeded to issue notice to BCI. Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan appeared for the petitioner.
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