The Bar Council of India has clarified to the Bombay High Court that its June 9 circular will not affect the already published semester results of the LL.B course.
The Division Bench of Justice R.D. Dhanuka and Justice R.I. Chagla was hearing a petition filed by Layota Ferns, a final-year student of Government Law College, claiming that once the results are declared, they cannot be canceled and substituted with assignment-based evaluation. Moreover, without any online classes for students, they were asked to submit 10 projects within 21 days.
On July 26, the High Court was of the view that the University of Mumbai could not have withdrawn results already declared on May 22, 2020 in respect of various semesters referred in Circular dated 5th July, 2021 based on the directives issued by the Bar Council of India.
On Wednesday, Amit Sale, the Counsel for the Bar Council of India, informed the Court that the BCI undertakes that they do not propose to apply the decision recorded in the Bar Council of India’s Circular dated 9th June, 2021 and the press release dated 10th June, 2021 mandatorily requiring end term examination to be conducted by all the Law Colleges / Universities, with retrospective effect and will apply with prospective effect only and shall neither apply to, nor adversely affect the results declared prior to 10th June 2021, by the Law Colleges/Universities on the basis of previous semester scores, in accordance with UGC Guide-lines issued in April 2020. The statement is accepted.
Ashutosh M. Kulkarni, Counsel for the University of Mumbai, stated that in the event the Bar Council of India expressly undertakes before the High Court that the BCI’s circular dated 9th June 2021 and its press release dated 10th June 2021 mandatorily requiring end term examination to be conducted by all law schools/ universities shall have prospective effect and shall neither apply to, nor adversely affect, the results declared prior to 10th June 2021, by the law colleges/ universities on the basis of previous semester scores, in accordance with UGC guidelines, issued in April 2020, University of Mumbai will have no reservations nor objections in withdrawing its circular dated 5th July 2021 on Assignment Based Evaluation (ABE) for the Students of LL.B. (3 years) Semesters II and IV, LLB (5 years) and BBA LL B (5 years) Semester II, IV, VI and VIII. As a result, the schedule announced vide University Circular dated 5th July, 2021 would stand withdrawn and the results of Intermediate semesters declared in First Half 2020 announced earlier in August 2020 on the basis of average marks based on the scores of the previous semester and internal assessment as applicable, declared by the University vide Circular dated 22nd May 2020 would stand restored.
Results of all the semesters, which are referred to in the University Circular dated 5th July 2021 and for the examinations for the next class for which students have appeared, would be declared within two weeks along with the mark-sheets, Kulkarni added.
The Court while accepting the submission appreciated the stand at-least now taken by the University of Mumbai and Bar Council Of India.
“We hope that a large number of law students who have suffered mental trauma in view of the action of the respondents would be now relieved of such trauma,” the Court said while disposing of the petition.
It is pertinent to note that BCI in the circular dated June 9 announced that all promoted students will be declared ‘pass’ only if they appear for their final exam of the current semester in the next semester and directed colleges to hold an exam for the current semester in the next academic year.