The Real Degree
Broadly, there are three types of recognised legal education from BCI-endorsed universities.
- A composite, five-year double degree course comprising a bachelor’s degree (arts, science or commerce) as well as an LLB (Legum Baccalaureus in Latin).
- Passing a three-year LLB course following any other degree (minimum bachelor’s)
- Bar Council of India-accepted foreign degrees (list on BCI website).
This one could be the shortest legal thriller ever, but with a Jeffrey Archer twist in the tale. In early February this year, a litigant was observing lawyer Ajit Kar with awe as the latter argued a brief in front of a magistrate in Delhi’s Dwarka court. It didn’t take him long to decide that, in Kar, he had found the advocate to replace the one representing his cousin. Bail had been granted to an accused in a criminal case, and they needed a lawyer who could get it cancelled. Right afterwards, he struck a deal with Kar. The alleged scene: a glib Kar said his speciality was criminal cases, and he would charge Rs 1 lakh as fees—the litigant paid up half of that as advance on the spot, the rest was to be furnished when the case was settled.
On February 4, when the litigant went to court for the hearing as scheduled, ‘lawyer’ Ajit Kar was standing ashen-faced amongst other lawyers and bar association members. The would-be prosecutor had himself turned into an accused. Kar’s cover had just been blown: he was a fake lawyer.
The police say Kar had had a good run for around seven years and had perhaps appeared in some 60 cases. He had first come to the court in 2010 for a case and realised to his dismay that legal fees were very high. Not much dope exists on the...