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HC on age bar for law course

The high court on Monday struck down a Bar Council of India (BCI) decision that barred students above 20 years of age from appearing in the entrance examination for admission to the five-year law course.

“There should not be any age bar on learning. A man can learn throughout his life,” Justice Ashok Dasadhikari said while striking down the rule set by the bar council, the apex regulatory body for law education in the country.

However, after Justice Dasadhikari issued the ruling, law education expert Ekramul Bari said: “The bar council had withdrawn the rule last year and said there would be no age bar on admission to the five-year law course. But Calcutta University is not allowing students above 20 to take admission to the LlB course as it has not received any written note from the bar council about the revocation of the rule.”

Bari said: “Justice Dasadhikari in his order also directed the bar council to communicate its revised decision to Calcutta University in around a month.”

The bar council had in 2008 framed the rule preventing students above 20 years of age from writing the entrance examination for five-year law degree courses across the country.

Following the rule, Calcutta University stopped allowing students more than 20 years of age from writing the test.

Monday’s order followed a petition by Aditya Narayan Tiwari and 10 other students, who had completed the Plus II course but were not allowed to write the entrance exam because of their age.

Advocate Barun Kumar Das, who represented Tiwari and the 10 other petitioners, submitted in the court: “My clients want to learn the law. How can a rule prevent them from attending classes in the law course because of their age. The university is not allowing them to sit in the entrance examination.”

The lawyer also submitted that July 4 was the last date for filling in forms for sitting in the entrance examination for Calcutta University’s law course.

After hearing the students’ plea, the judge issued an interim order asking the university authorities to allow the petitioners to fill in the forms.