BCI misusing its dominant position: Plea in CCI against maximum age limit for LLB Course

Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh moves Delhi HC against Bar Council of India

A complaint filed before the Competition Commission of India alleges, “The Bar Council of India, misusing its dominant position in controlling the legal education in India, through Clause No. 28 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008 is creating indirect entry barriers to the new entrants into the profession of legal service by imposing maximum age restrictions to enter into the legal education.”

Before the Vijayawada Bench of the Commission, the complaint has been filed by a 52 year old resident of Andhra Pradesh, Thupili Raveendra Babu, keen on pursuing legal education.

The complaint alleged that upper age limit of 30 years for general candidates to pursue legal education stipulated under Clause 28 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008, prescribed by the BCI amounts to an “abuse of the dominant position” by Council in contravention to the Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.

By indulging in such “colourable exercise of power”, the BCI deprives thousands of aspirants who dream of pursuing legal education in India, and reduces the competition to its electors, it is submitted.

It is therefore urged to immediately declare the impugned provision, i.e. Clause No. 28 of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008 of the BCI as “illegal and void ab initio” and to levy maximum possible penalty on the BCI for the “wilful violation” of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.

The Complainant has urged the Commission to suspend the operation of this provision until the matter attains finality.

Thupili disclosed that he was working as an Executive Engineer in CPWD under the Central Ministry of Urban Development He stated that in order to pursue his childhood dream of pursuing law, he opted for voluntary retirement. Subsequently, he appeared for the three-year LLB entrance exam in Andhra Pradesh and emerged as the state first rank holder, only to discover about the ‘entry barrier’ as discussed above.

He could not pursue legal education earlier because of financial constraints and now, he was being deprived of this dream because of the indirect entry barrier created by the Bar Council.

He submitted,

“The Bar Council of India which is an elected body of the advocates in India is also regulating the legal practice as well as the legal education in India. It is enjoying the dominant position in controlling the legal education as well as the legal practice in India.

The Bar Council of India, misusing its dominant position in controlling the legal education in India, through Clause No. 28 of the Rules of Legal education 2008 is creating indirect entry barriers to the new entrants into the profession of legal service by imposing maximum age restrictions to enter into  the legal education.

These Rules were first notified in March 2009. This action of the Bar Council of India is in violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 of India.”

The upper limit of admission to a 3-year LLB course presently is 30 years and to the 5-year course is 20 years.

This position was recently challenged before the Supreme Court by a 77-year old woman desirous of pursuing a law degree.


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“An Investment in Knowledge pays the best interest”. I Ms. Sakshi Patil currently pursuing Bachelors of Law (LLB) from Pune University ,and I believe that Knowledge is a commodity to share and it should be not remain the monopoly of selected few. Studying Law helps me understand how society is govern and how law acts as medicine to heal the society. Keeping positive and open minded approach in every aspect of life is the aim and I hope to learn with every opportunity and can help to those in need and create awareness among people about law and its importance. As quoted by Henry Ward Beecher, ”A Law is valuable not because it is a law ,but because there is right in it.”