The University of Mumbai Law Academy (UMLA) situated at MU’s Kalina campus, has operated without the permission and approval from the Bar Council of India (BCI) from 2015 since the establishment till 2018.
Recently, the university has paid Rs 8 lakh to the BCI due to the violation said MU Pro Vice-Chancellor Ravindra Kulkarni.
Currently, UMLA has as many as 200 students. The five year LLB course first batch will be graduated at the end of the academic session.
Last year, the report submitted to the Council stated that the inspection committee of the BCI imposed a default fee over UMLA and also gave it a conditional approval to operate for the 2019-2020 academic year including upgrading the moot court, purchasing books worth Rs 5 lakh, installation of computers and establishing of a legal aid centre.
The report by The Indian Express added: “It is found that the University of Mumbai Law Academy has admitted students since 2015-16 for five-year BBA LLB (Hons.) without getting approval from the Bar Council of India, which is contrary to rule 14(1) of the Rules of Legal Education, 2008.”
According to the report, no faculty member is available to teach subjects such as accounts regularly besides an honorary member of the university.
The matter came to light when the president of Maharashtra Students Union, Siddharth Ingle said in response to his RTI query and was told about the pending of the inspection of UMLA.
“Why hasn’t the university done anything to get approval for four years? It could have put at stake the degrees of several students,” he said.
When contacted, the in charge director of UMLA, Swati Routela said she could not comment because she was recently appointed. “The university has paid the default fee to the BCI and expects requisite approvals soon,” said the MU Pro V-C.