New Delhi: In a fresh trouble for Delhi University Law faculty, a Bar Council of India panel has recommended its closure after it found lack of infrastructure and other irregularities in the functioning of the department.
DU authorities, however, maintained that the needful is being done and the irregularities if any will be sorted out before commencement of new session in August this year.
"We are of the firm view that the Campus Law Centre should be closed down, but seeing the career of the students as well as the reputation of the university, a lenient view may be taken by the Legal Education Committee," says a report of BCI panel, which conducted an inspection of the DU's Law faculty.
Headed by retired Rajasthan High Court Judge VS Dave, the seven-member inspection committee include Vice-Chancellor of National Law University Ranbir Singh, director of Indian Law Institute Manoj Kumar Sinha, and members of the Bar Council of India (BCI) and Delhi Bar Council (DBC).
The panel said faculty was in news last September when BCI, the apex regulatory body for legal education and the legal profession in India, chose to derecognise DU's law course after the varsity failed to seek timely extension of the affiliation of its three centres namely - Campus Law Centre, Law Centre-I and Law Centre-II.
The Delhi High Court had also directed the varsity to ensure proper infrastructure in keeping with BCI norms. In its reply to the court, DU had proposed to the shift to a new building which it claimed "had adequate space" for the faculty to run properly.
Besides pointing out infrastructural shortcomings like lack of sufficient number of classrooms, separate library or moot court facility, the BCI panel also highlighted that there was lack of adequate number of permanent faculty.
It also criticised the functioning of the Dean, saying, he did not update the varsity's central office about the issues.
"The committee felt anguished at the attitude of the successive Deans of the Faculty of Law, who it appears had not been updating the DU Central office and the UGC for over four decades, which has resulted not only in the present state of affairs but also in poor infrastructure and deteriorating academic standards," the BCI report says.
"Bar Council from its record found that all the three Law Centres have never been inspected so far. It is extremely regrettable that absolutely no efforts have been made for developing the infrastructure despite clear BCI rules," it adds.
The BCI had also sent a show cause notice to the Delhi University in January, stating that the affiliation of the varsity was approved only till the 2014-15 session and sought DU's response within eight weeks.
Dean of DU Law faculty, Ashwini Kumar Bansal, told a news agency that the varsity is on the job and confident that the issue will be sorted soon.
"We are completely within norms of a teaching institution. We would like to work with BCI to fullest extent and are confident that we will be ready by time of admissions."
"We are ready with are our response to the show cause notice as well and will send it to BCI within the deadline," he said.
Bansal, however, denied that the Vice Chancellor wasn't being updated on the happenings at the Law faculty.
"VC was seized of the matter. Some vested interests are trying to create discord between DU Law faculty and BCI but we will work it out soon and maintain the standards of education imparted at DU," he added.
Among the alumni of DU law faculty are eminent figures like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former HRD minister Kapil Sibal, Supreme Court Judge Rohinton Nariman, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi.