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The government has invited bar associations for talks in the wake of lawyers' threat to go on strike from 11th July to protest against the proposed higher education bill, assuring that the proposed legislation will not in interfere with legal education. In a letter to bar associations, HRD minister Kapil Sibal said the Bar Council of India is free to prescribe minimum standards of education for grant of degrees leading to professional practice. Terming the proposed Higher Education and Research Bill as "draconian, unconstitutional and undemocratic" and one that infringes on its powers, the BCI had last month threatened that lawyers across the country would abstain from work on 11th July and 12th July, if legal education was not removed from the purview of the bill.
"There is an impression that the proposed legislation seeks to interfere with disciplinary powers of the Bar Councils over the conduct of members of the legal profession," Sibal said. "I wish to clarify that the proposed bill does not contain any provision, which seeks to interfere with the powers of BCI or the State Bar Councils in the matter of regulation of the practice of law or with respect to exercise of disciplinary powers qua members of the legal profession," Sibal said. He reasoned that the meeting will give each side an "opportunity to express their views and enable me to explain issues relating to the proposed legislation", as it is intended solely to strengthen the higher education system. According to the minister, BCI, which currently inspects institutions awarding an LLB degree for maintaining standards, will continue to exercise these powers under the proposed legislation.
Courtesy: Times of India
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