-The Times of India
More than 17 lakh lawyers will strike work on Wednesday and Thursday, paralyzing judicial work across the country to protest against the Higher Education and Research Bill piloted by the HRD ministry, alleging that it would take away important academic regulatory powers from the Bar Council of India (BCI).
After exhausting its representations opposing the HER Bill, the regulatory body BCI on Monday said it had no option but to go ahead with its ultimatum - boycott of litigation work for two days by lawyers.
BCI chairman and senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra told reporters, "If the government does not exclude the Legal Education and Advocates Act from the purview of the bill even after protest on July 11 and 12, then a joint meeting of state bar councils and office-bearers of all bar associations will be held under the leadership of Bar Council of India and lawyers from across the country will assemble at Jantar Mantar and gherao Parliament on the first day of the monsoon session."
He said a BCI delegation had met HRD minister Kapil Sibal several times protesting against provisions in the HER Bill, 2011 and the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Act, 2010, the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010, and the National Law Schools Bill, 2010 but the government had turned a deaf ear to the lawyers demand.
By introducing these bills, the government wanted to make it easy for foreign educational institutions to set up branches in India and completely erode the power of regulatory bodies including BCI, Mishra said.