Published: 10th February 2021
Not Bar Council, but UGC has the right to regulate LLM degree, Abhishek Manu Singhvi to SC
Singhvi was appearing before the Supreme Court representing the consortium of NLUs, which opposed the BCI's decision to scrap the one-year-long LLM degrees
The LLM is regulated by the UGC and not the Bar Council of India, said Senior Advocate and Rajya Sabha MP Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Singhvi was appearing before the Supreme Court representing the consortium of NLUs, which opposed the BCI's decision to scrap the One-Year LLM degrees.
The petition was heard by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde. Singhvi also informed the court that the NLUs had invited applications for the LLM course on January 2 and that it had received over 5,000 applications so far. "It was on January 4 that the Bar Council notified the new rules stopping One-Year LLM courses," he said, adding that LLMs are only a year long everywhere else in the world. "The LLM degree is regulated by the UGC and not the BCI. Moreover, no university was consulted by the BCI before making this decision," said Singhvi.
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He added that LLM is not a legal practitioner's degree. "Since LLM is not a qualification for legal enrolment, BCI has no power to regulate it," he said. "This is an all-India abolition.… One-year LLM program came into being on the basis of recommendations made by the National Knowledge Commission in 2003," he submitted. The matter will be next heard on Thursday.
According to the new set of rules by the BCI, the LLM degree has to be of two years' duration and is restricted only to law graduates.