Rajkumari Tyagi, a 77 year old woman and septuagenarian widow,
has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Rules of Legal Education and BCI Rules,
which imposed restriction on the upper limit of age for taking admission in law programmes.
The said rules provided the age limit of 30 years and 20 years for taking admission in 3 years and 5 years LLB course respectively.
The septuagenarian widow sought the intervention of the Apex Court in a pending matter before the same court.
The petitioner was desirous of pursuing LL.B degree, not only to gain knowledge but also to utilize her time in doing something she was passionate about.
The petitioner resided alone after the unfortunate demise of her husband.
Therefore, to aid and assist in managing the estate of her late husband without consulting to a lawyer,
she wanted to know the most basic formality as well as the nitty-gritty of law, through her education.
After that to take admission in law course, she approached many universities in the vicinity of her home.
The petitioner was not only denied the admission but also informed that there was a bar on age imposed
by Bar Council of India,
therefore, she was not entitled to get admission in the law courses offered by the University.
The validity of Clause 28, Schedule III, Rule 11 of the Rules of Legal education 2008(Bar Council) as well as impugned circular no. 6 dated 17.09.2016 issued by
the Bar Council of India (BCI) were in question as they prescribe an age limit of 20 years and 30 years respectively for admission into the 5 years and 3 years
law programmes of all the Law Schools throughout India.
GRIEVANCE OF THE PETITIONER
The petitioner was aggrieved by the age restriction imposed by such provisions of Bar Council of India as because of such restrictions;
she could not take admission in the LLB Programme offered by the Law Schools in India.
SUBMISSIONS OF THE PETITIONER
The petitioner contended that the Constitution of India fundamentally guaranteed Right to life under Article 21 to a person,
which included right to read, be educated in a medium of instruction, pursue a degree or course of her choice irrespective of any age restrictions.
It was violative of Article 14 as well the principle of equity and equal opportunity. Therefore the age restriction was unreasonable,
arbitrary and discriminatory.
Based on Prabakaran Committee’s finding and report,
BCI passed resolution no.200/2013 to the effect that clause 28 was withdrawn and the students taking admission into college/university imparting legal education could do so without any age restriction.
The Madras High Court in B.Ashok vs. The Secretary, Ministry of Union Law and Justice &Ors 2015 SCC ONLINE MAD 7004, declared the withdrawal of Clause 28, Schedule III, Rule 11 of the Legal Rules, as invalid. After that, BCI through its Circular no. 6 issued on 17.09.2016 restored the same.
The Supreme Court in WP no. 1023/2016 titled as Rishabh Duggal & Anr vs BAR COUNCIL OF INDIA & Anr, stayed the notification issued on 17.09.2016 and all other consequential actions thereof.
The impugned circular 06 restricted the guaranteed under article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India,
which provides Right to carry on profession or occupation, trade and profession.
No upper age was prescribed for enrollment under section 24 of Advocates Act, 1961.
PRAYERS OF THE PETITIONER
- To declare the Impugned circular dated 17.09.2016, Clause 28, Schedule III,
Rules 11 of the Legal Education Rules violative of Article 19(1)(g) and Article 21 of Constitution of India;
- To declare that the applicant has a right to pursue legal education under Article 21
The petition has been drawn by Nipun Saxena, Serena Sharma and Umang Tyagi Advocates.
Story by Rohit Mathur-Intern