Allow Law Teachers To Practice In Courts: Prof. Mustafa

Allow law teachers to practice in courts: Prof. Mustafa, if all goes well, full-time law teachers will soon be able to practise in courts of law. The beginnings for this historic move were made during the Executive Committee of Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs), which met at the NALSAR University of Law here recently and unanimously resolved that full-time teachers should be allowed to practise. Accordingly, it also resolved to seek amendment of Rule 49 of Bar Council of India which prohibits full-time salaried employees from practice.

The committee opined that not allowing law teachers to practise in the courts of law was harming the legal system as law teachers were as important stakeholders as lawyers and judges. It said the country was badly in need of litigation lawyers and there was a need to bridge the gap between law in books and law in action.

The committee felt that to improve clinical legal education and attract bright students of NLUs to take up litigation as their career, it was necessary that teachers should themselves go to the courts along with students.

Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR and president, Consortium of NLUs, said the Committee also resolved that once law teachers were permitted to take up cases, no teacher of the member institution of the consortium of NLUs would be permitted to appear in a court for more than three times in a month and spend more than 15 hours per week on litigation lawyering. Moreover, it would be mandatory for such teachers to teach a course on clinical legal education, he added.

The Committee expressed hope that most cases taken up by law teachers would ideally involve violation of human rights or seek overruling of wrong decisions by courts or interpretation of constitution. It is expected that law teachers would appear pro-bono. However, if a fee is charged, it would be shared between the university concerned and law teacher in the ratio of 60:40, the Committee said.

The Executive Committee also resolved that in case law teachers were not permitted to practise, a Non-Practice Allowance (NPA) of 25 per cent on par with medical doctors should be paid to them. Accordingly the committee decided to take the issue of NPA with the University Grants Commission and other authorities concerned.

The members of the Committee also decided to place a Grievance Redressal Committee for CLAT 2019 which would be headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court and two former vice-chancellors and two present vice-chancellors of NLUs.

Bar Council of India should amend Rule 49: Faizan Mustafa

Law teachers want the Bar Council of India (BCI) to allow them to practice law in courts as they can contribute more meaningfully to the legal system. Keeping them away from practice was ‘harming’ the judiciary.

A decision on this was taken at the Executive Committee meeting of the Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs) held at NALSAR University of Law here on Thursday. A statement from NALSAR Vice-Chancellor, Faizan Mustafa, said teachers, if permitted, can practice on violation of human rights, interpreting Constitution and seeking overruling of wrong judgements.

Prof. Mustafa said they want the Bar Council of India to amend Rule 49 that prohibits full-time salaried employees from practising in courts. If that is not accepted, teachers should be paid 25% non-practising allowance on the lines of the payment made to government doctors.

However, he said regulations like limiting not more than three appearances in the courts and sharing the fee between the university concerned and the law teacher in the ratio of 60:40 could be introduced so that teachers concentrate more on teaching. He said the committee felt that the country needs litigation lawyers, while the gap between law in books and law in action should also be bridged. For this, teachers themselves should go to the court along with students. The meeting also took a decision to constitute a Grievance Redressal Committee for Common Law Admission Test (CLAT-2019) to be headed by a former SC Judge, two former Vice-Chancellors and two serving Vice-Chancellors of the National Law Universities.

Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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