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If such a restricted meaning is given to the words “basic qualification”, the very purpose of proviso would stand frustrated: Bombay High Court.

The Bombay High Court passed a judgement on 4th of May, 2022 in which it the court answered the queries posed by the division bench of the same court. This was seen in the case of Vishnu Rambhhaji Harishchandre Vs Bar Council Of India Through Secretary And Others (Writ Petition No.6752 Of 2021) and this judgement was passed by The Honourable Mr. Justice S.V. Gangapurwala, The Honourable Mr. Justice R. G. Avachat and The Honourable Mr. Justice R. N. Laddha.

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The petitioner in the case, completed his Secondary School Certificate Course (S.S.C.) i.e., 10th Standard in the year 1992 from the State Board. He thereafter passed 11th Standard examination (First Year of Junior College) in 1993. He took admission to 12th Standard, in the subject of Arts, had been unsuccessful in passing the examination. Later in 2008, the petitioner earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (B.Com.) from Yashwantrao Chavan Open University, Nashik (Open University for short). He could secure admission to First Year B.Com. of the Open University, since he passed pre-programme test to secure admission to the degree course. The petitioner successfully cleared State Common Entrance Test conducted for an admission for the three-year LL.B. Course in 2020 and was at Sr.No.1 in the Waiting List of the respondent, M.P. Law College, Aurangabad. He, was, informed by the College that he was not eligible to secure admission to Three Year LL.B. course on ground to Rule 5 of Bar Council of India Rules of Legal Education, and therefore, filed the present Writ Petition, seeking a writ of mandamus for directing the respondents to admit him to the LL.B. Course.

The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court has referred the current writ petition to a Larger Bench with the following questions: –

(a) Whether, the preparatory course under clause 4.1(1) of the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nashik could be treated as being equivalent of HSC?

(b) Whether, acquiring the B.com. Degree under distant learning programme of the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nashik, on the basis of the preparatory programme of six months, could tantamount to a candidate having acquired 10+2+3 sequential educational qualification so as to be eligible for acquiring admission to the three years LL.B. degree course?

JUDGEMENT:

The court in its judgement said if such a restricted meaning is given to the words “basic qualification”, the very purpose of proviso would stand frustrated. Proviso has clarified that an applicant who has passed the first-degree certificate after prosecuting studies in distance or correspondence method, shall also be considered as eligible for admission. The explanation cannot be interpreted in a manner that it would negate the proviso and the main section. The explanation cannot take away the statutory right with which a person is bestowed with under the rule. For explanation to harmoniously survive with the proviso and the main rule will have to be interpreted in a manner that the basic qualification would mean the basic qualification as provided by that University for obtaining admission to the graduation/ postgraduation or 10 + 2 course. Any other interpretation would lead to an anomalous situation and would render the Rule 5 and the proviso otiose and superfluous. 27. For the reasons above, the court declared the Reference to be disposed of and the matter may be placed before the appropriate Bench for deciding the Writ Petition.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY TANAV ZACHARIAH.

Click here to view the Judgement.

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