University Rules Shall Prevail Over Rules Of BCI For Conducting Examinations For LLB Admissions – Gujarat High Court
Justice Vaibhavi D. Nanavati of Gujarat High Court has held that university rules shall prevail over the rules of the Bar Council of India for conducting examinations for LLB admissions.
While dismissing the Petition, the Court noted –
"…the Rules of Bar Council of India do not provide for conducting of examination and result thereof. The Rule only suggests that a candidate must possess 45% marks for securing the admission in law course/ L.L.B. course. The University Ordinance No. 154 as referred above prevails over the Rules of the Bar Council of India and when the petitioner had passed B.Com. Examination with 'exemption' i.e. in 'pass class' and on 2nd attempts, he is not eligible for admission in the L.L.B. course."
Counsel Mr. Kuldip K. Acharya appeared for the Petitioner.
In this case, the Petitioner had passed the B.com examination in the general category and appeared for the 3rd B.com examination in 2007 in which out of a total of 7 subjects, Petitioner failed in 2 subjects. Thereafter, the Petitioner appeared in a re-examination conducted by the University in 2008 for the 2 subjects and had secured a 'pass class' with 45.57%.
Petitioner then submitted an application form before the Respondent for admission to the LLB course. Respondent after some time rejected the candidature of the Petitioner and refunded the fee paid stating that the latter had given 2 tries in B.com. After the Petitioner made a representation to the Respondent, the latter stated that since petitioner has given 2 tries in 3rd year B.com and was declared pass with 'Exemption'. Therefore, the percentage cannot be counted and as per the Rules of the Bar Council of India, students of Open/General category are required to secure 45%, O.B.C. category 42% and S.T. category 40% minimum to secure admission and since the petitioner belonging to Open/ General category has so called not secured 45% is ineligible to secure admission.
The Court made a reference to the Ordinance – 154 framed by the Respondent-University as per which the 'exemption' comes into play.
The Court also placed reliance on various precedents where the High Court had previously considered the provisions of ordinance 154 of the Saurashtra University Act and considered Rule 7 of the Bar Council of India Education Rules, 2008 and held that if the candidate passed the examination in more than 1 trial/attempt, he would have the benefit of exemption in few papers but he would be considered as having passed the examination with minimum percentage of marks.
The Bench further also noted that the Petitioner, in this case, had secured 'pass class' in his B.com examination, in this context, the Court observed –
"Further the eligibility as prescribed by the University cannot be overlooked and the petitioner cannot be said to have eligible and to have secured minimum 45% as prescribed by the Bar Council of Gujarat for securing admission in L.L.B. course. The issue with regard to the eligibility criteria is required to be considered by the respondent – University. This Court otherwise cannot sit in an Appeal to a decision taken by an expert body, and therefore, this Court is not inclined to interfere under Article226 of the Constitution of India."
Thus, the Court held that it is not inclined to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article-226 of the Constitution of India, by directing the respondents to consider the educational qualification of the petitioner as required under Bar Council of India Legal Education Rules, 2008 for admission to LLB course when the petitioner has passed B.Com. examination with 'pass class' and dismissed the Petition.