Supreme Court: ‘We Need Mature People Coming Into the Profession’ – Rejects Proposal for Three-Year LL.B. After High School

The Supreme Court recently declined to consider a plea asking for students to be allowed to pursue a three-year law degree right after finishing high school. This means that students would go directly from school to studying law without needing to complete another degree first. The court, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, disagreed with the idea that three years of legal education after high school was sufficient. They believe that five years of studying law is better because it produces more mature and capable professionals.

In the current system, students can choose to pursue a five-year law program after high school, which combines a Bachelor’s degree in subjects like Arts, Commerce, or Business Administration with a law degree. Alternatively, they can opt for a three-year law program after completing a Bachelor’s degree in another field.

The petition to allow three-year law programs right after high school was brought forward by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay. He argued that the five-year program is influenced by expensive colleges and that allowing three-year programs could benefit students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, especially girls. He also suggested that civil servants can begin their careers immediately after completing their undergraduate studies, so why not law students?

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, representing Upadhyay, highlighted how a shorter law program could encourage more girls and economically disadvantaged students to join the legal profession. However, the Chief Justice pointed out that there are already a significant number of women in the judiciary, indicating that the legal profession is not inaccessible to them.

Ultimately, the court decided not to entertain the plea and allowed Upadhyay to withdraw it. Instead, they suggested making a representation to the Bar Council of India, which regulates legal education in the country. This means that Upadhyay can still bring his concerns to the attention of the appropriate authority but through a different avenue.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court believes that a five-year law program is beneficial for producing skilled and mature legal professionals. While there are concerns about accessibility for economically disadvantaged students and girls, the court feels that these issues can be addressed through other means, such as making representations to the Bar Council of India.

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