Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court: While considering the instant petition seeking the writ of Mandamus directing the Bar Council of India (BCI) to update their “Approved List of CLE’s (Law Colleges/Universities)” published on its website, to reflect the extension of approval of affiliation / recognition granted to the petitioner institution i.e. BMS Law College; the Bench of Suraj Govindaraj, J.*, directed the BCI to consider the representation of the petitioner institution dated 13.02.2024 and make such changes as required in the approved list of CLE’s (Law Colleges/Universities) published on the website.

The Court further directed BCI to add the following columns on its website to reflect the current status of the affiliated law universities-

  1. The date on which an application for extension of affiliation was made.

  2. The date on which the payment was made including the details thereof.

  3. Initial affiliation letter issued by the Bar Counsel to the particular college with the PDF copy uploaded.

  4. The approved intake of the college.

  5. Such other and further details as the BCI may deem fit taking into account the changed circumstances.

Background: BMS Law College is an educational institution established in the 1963, offering both three-year and five-year degree courses in law. It was stated that BMS Law College has been making the necessary fee payments for the renewal of affiliation the BCI with the said affiliation being renewed from time to time.

BMS Law College submitted that they have paid the fee for extension of affiliation for the year 2023-2024, on 15-12-2023 by virtue of which, the affiliation would have been extended automatically for the academic year 2027-2028.

However, as per the list of Law Colleges / Universities (CLE’s) published on BCI’s website, having approval of affiliation of the BCI as on 15-05-2023, BMS Law College’s affiliation is shown to be in existence and operation only until 2017-18, when the affiliation ought to have been shown to be extended and could be available till 2026-2027.

It was further submitted that when the name of the petitioner institution is searched on BCI’s website, the affiliation is shown to be current and valid for the year 2024-2025 which is also not proper inasmuch as the affiliation ought to have been reflected as 2027-2028. Therefore, the petitioner institution submitted a representation on 13-02-2024 to BCI seeking correction of details. Upon noticing no development in the matter, BMS Law College thus approached the Court with the instant writ petition.

Court’s Assessment: Perusing the matter, the Court pointed out that BCI being the authority which grants affiliation as regards all colleges of law degree, BMS Law College would be put to disadvantage if the details of the current affiliation are not reflected on the website.

The Court noted that currently BCI’s website indicates details of the affiliated university, college names and place, strength approval up to the year of the establishment, remarks etc.

Taking note of the petitioner institution’s grievance, the Court thus directed the BCI to introduce 5 news categories which will reflect the current statutes of the affiliated colleges and to consider the representation seeking correction/updation of details on BCI’s website vis-à-vis the petitioner institution’s current affiliation status.

[BMS College of Law v. Bar Council of India, 2024 SCC OnLine Kar 50, decided on 23-04-2024]

*Order by Justice Suraj Govindaraj


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For petitioner- BADRI VISHAL, ADVOCATE

For respondent: SHRIDHAR PRABHU, ADVOCATE FOR R1; GIRISH KUMAR R, ADVOCATE FOR R2

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