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Tamil Nadu Moves Bill, Wants No More Private Law Colleges

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- isking adverse judicial orders, Tamil Nadu government tabled a Bill in the assembly announcing its policy decision to prohibit establishment of private law colleges in the state. 
The Tamil Nadu Establishment of Private Law Colleges Bill, introduced by minister for law, courts and prisons S P Velumani, said, "the government has decided to prohibit the establishment of law colleges by private persons in the state." The statement of objects of the Bill, said: "Experience revealed that private trusts and societies were not able to provide legal education at affordable costs to the economically and socially weaker sections and were not able to continue to run the law colleges successfully." 
The move drew instant criticism from jurists who said that a government cannot issue omnibus prohibition orders against establishing any genre of educational institutions, as a matter of policy. "Law is well settled in the matter, and this decision may not survive judicial scrutiny, if taken to a court of law," a former judge told TOI. 

"It is sad the government is attempting to paint us in bad light even after the medical and engineering educational revolution brought about by private colleges and universities in Tamil Nadu," said an academic. The country has more than 1,000 law colleges, of which about 800 are run by individuals or private trusts, said a Bar Council official, adding that Tamil Nadu had only 12 law colleges, including the seven run by the state government. In contrast, Uttar Pradesh has nearly 300 colleges, there are more than 200 in Rajasthan, 100 in Delhi, nearly 100 in Karnataka and more than 200 in Maharashtra. Madhya Pradesh had 125 colleges, Andhra Pradesh had 65 and Kerala has about 30 colleges, he said. Noting that the standard of legal education, syllabus, infrastructure and faculty positition in the five private institutions is far better than what is available in the seven government law colleges, an educationist told TOI: "The Dr Ambedkar Law College in Chennai, which is the oldest centre of legal education in south India has a student strength of 1,740 this year. It is pathetic that the college has only 8 permanent faculty members. There are 28 guest faculty. Still it is unable to meet the Bar Council-prescribed teacher-student ratio of 1:40." 

 

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