The Bar Council of India (BCI) today informed the Karnataka High Court that it has constituted a sub-committee to decide whether the existing BCI Rule pertaining to marks for Moot Court exercises could be relaxed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advocate Sridhar Prabhu, appearing for BCI, also informed a Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice HP Sandesh thatthe University Grants Commission (UGC) had mandated that all final year law students exams will have to be conducted by September end.
The Court said,
“…if Supreme Court does not interfere (in plea against conduct of final year exams in September), then this issue (of canceling compulsory clincial courses for final year law students) will have to be immediately addressed by Bar Council.”
On hearing this submission, the Court asked,
“What is the legal position today? In absence of BCI granting relaxation, can the universities do it?”
During the hearing, Prabhu further contended that the petitioners are final year students and certain prayers directly affected them. Therefore, in this view, he argued that the same may not be treated as PIL.
Though it allowed the above submission, the Bench went on to opine,
“Welfare of law students is also a matter of public interest as far as the institution of Judiciary is concerned.”
The matter will be next heard on August 11.