Published: 25th July 2019
HC asks Centre to respond to plea challenging educational requirement for legal researchers
The petition, filed through advocate Nikhil Sharma, sought to quash the advertisement issued by the ministry or to modify it.
The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre's response on a plea challenging a government advertisement for inviting applications from only those law graduates who have completed a five-year integrated bachelor's degree for being appointment as legal research associates on contract basis.
The petition claimed that restricting applications only to those graduates who have done a five-year course is arbitrary and unreasonable amounting to hostile discrimination against those candidates who have done a three-year degree course from a recognised university.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to the Ministry of Law and Justice and Bar Council of India on the petition and said prima facie the challenge in this plea is merited as both the qualifications are of equivalent value.
Petitioner Akash Verma, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, challenged the ministry's May 28 advertisement inviting applications from law graduates in Law as Legal Research Associates on contract basis Regarding the educational qualification, it was stated in the notice that 'five-year integrated bachelor's degree in Law from the recognised university or National Law University with not less than 60 per cent marks or equivalent CGPA in aggregate of all semesters/ years up to final examination'.
The petition, filed through advocate Nikhil Sharma, sought quashing the advertisement issued by the ministry or to modify it.
It also sought allowing the petitioner to apply for the post of Legal Research Associate in Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and Justice.
The court asked the government to file its counter affidavit within two weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on September 6.
The court clarified that authorities would not process any application pursuant to the May notice and added that they are at liberty to issue an amended notice including the three-year degree in Law from a recognised university as an acceptable educational qualification.
"It is clarified that if such an amended notice is issued then this order will not come in the way of the respondents to receive and process the applications pursuant to the amended notice," it said.