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PIL Seeks 3-Year Law Degree after 12th, Argues 5-Year LLB Duration Unreasonable

The inordinate duration is irrational and hence violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution: Petitioner

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 18, 2024, 14:13:32

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A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed in the Supreme Court seeks directions to introduce a three-year law degree course after school.

Currently, the LLB course, which students can pursue after completing their 12th standard, has a duration of five years. The three-year law degree course is presently available only to graduates.

Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, in the petition, argues that the five-year duration for the LLB course is "unreasonable and irrational."
He requests the Centre and Bar Council of India to form an Expert Committee to evaluate the feasibility of commencing a three-year

Bachelor of Law course after the 12th standard, similar to Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts courses.
The petitioner contends that students can comfortably cover 15-20 subjects in three years (six semesters).

Therefore, the current five-year duration (10 semesters) for the Bachelor of Law Course is deemed unreasonable, arbitrary, and violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution, he argues.

"The undue five-year time span is arbitrary and irrational for several reasons. Firstly, this length of time is unnecessary for conferring a Bachelor's degree; secondly, the extended period of five years is unsuitable for students; thirdly, the five-year duration is disproportionate to the study of law; and fourthly, it imposes an excessive financial burden on students to complete such a lengthy degree," the petition stated.

The petitioner highlights that reducing the duration to three years would allow students to gain an additional two years of court practice experience.

Referring to examples like Ram Jethmalani, who started law practice at age 18, and Fali S. Nariman, who completed his law degree at age 21, the petitioner questions why the youth of the country should "waste" two additional years in college instead of commencing their profession in their early twenties.

The petitioner respectfully submits that if colleges can confer Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science degrees immediately after the 12th standard in three years, then it should be feasible to grant a Bachelor of Law degree in the same timeframe.

Students do not require a Bachelor of Arts degree to gain preliminary knowledge of law. Therefore, why should students be compelled to spend an additional two years obtaining it?

The petitioner requests the court to expedite a decision since admissions for the new courses are commencing in May-June.

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