March,4,2016: Bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit asked the parties to the dispute to submit their suggestions to the court; these will be considered by the court to frame the issues of reference and their suggestions on whether a constitution bench should hear this challenge.
The Court also asked Senior Advocate KK Venugopal to assist the court in the matter.
When the matter was taken up today as item 36 in court 1, all the petitioners were present including BCI Chairman,
“What has happened to the noble profession and the lawyers? Fall in standards is visible. It is time we introspect, raise the standard, look what is happening around us..Some advocates are agitating, some are stoning, some are firing and very few are arguing”, Chief Justice T S Thakur said.
Chief Justice Thakur then said the court wants to refer the case to a larger Bench, so that the issue is settled once and for all.
“Mr. Mishra, we want to settle this controversy regarding pre-enrollment training and post enrollment exam. If an amendment to the Act is needed, we will recommend that”, said Thakur J.
The Court also said that it will request Senior Advocates KK Venugopal and Fali Nariman to assist the court. Once it was noticed that Venugopal was present in the court, the Bench proceeded to explain the case to him. He was then asked to give his suggestions so that it could frame the issues of reference based on those.
The Court then adjourned the matter for a week after directing the parties and KK Venugopal to submit the issues, which can be considered by a larger Bench.
The Law Commission of India, in its 184th report to the government in 2002, had recommended amendment of the UGC Act for setting up a ‘Legal Education Committee’ and amendment of the Advocates Act to set up a similar committee by the BCI.
When the case was last heard, the Court had made it clear that it is not averse to having an exam but only wants to examine if the existing system is within the confines of law, and if not, seek to strengthen it.
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