• Mandavi Banerjee

"BCI has tremendous control over NLS."-Says BCI before Karnataka HC.

Updated: Aug 29

News Article covered by Ayush Kumar.

The Bar Council of India approached Karnataka High Court against the amendment in NLSIU

Act (Karnataka Act 22 of 1986). The amendment, NLSIU (Amendment) Act, 2020, extending

reservation to the students of Karnataka up to a maximum of 25% was made in March this year.

Advocate Vikramjit Banerjee, appearing for the BCI, said – “The state government does not havemthe competence of making reservations, because of the unique nature of the institution. Becauseof the way it was created. Any reservation in NLS will go against the objective of the NLS.” He further added – “The ethos of the institution (NLSIU) is that it does not matter from where you come from. It could have been called anything but it is called THE National Law School.”

Before a division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna & Justice Ravi V Hosmani, Banerji referring to the parent NLSIU Act, mentioned that the composition of the Executive Council, Academic Council; & other post held by the members at the NLS to indicate that it was an autonomous institution & the role of the state Government was limited as a facilitator to set-up the institute in Bengaluru. To that, he added that the Bar Council of India (BCI) Trust had established the School & thus the amendment went against the spirit of the act itself.

In a supplement submission before the court, advocate Shridhar Prambhu appearing on behalf of BCI, said “If the parent Act is tempered by this amendment, it runs contrary to the Advocates Act of 1961.”

The bench of judges sought clarification from the university as to how the 5% concession for Karnataka students would be computed. Senior Advocate Uday Holla referred to SC Judgement in the case of AIIMS, which states

"merit cannot be completely forsaken and went on to explain the revised seat matrix."

The bench was not convinced by the arguments of University and raised doubt on the issue. The court will continue hearing the matter on Tuesday.

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