In a recent case before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to deal with the mushrooming of private law colleges in Tamil Nadu considered the validity of Tamil Nadu Establishment of Private Law Colleges (Prohibition) Act, 2014. The Appeal specifically focused on the question of the necessity of Private Law Colleges in Tamil Nadu.
The appeal stemmed from the order of Madras High Court in the case of Advocates’ Forum for Social Justice v. The State of Tamil Nadu and Ors. wherein the validity of the Act was challenged. Quashing the Act, the High Court held that it had struck down the Act holding that it directly infinges upon the fundamental right to carry on a trade, business & occupation guaranteed by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. Citing the Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of T.M.A. Pai v. State of Karnataka , it opined that ‘there is difference between regulation/restriction and ban. It is the ban and that too for an indefinite period that makes this single object one section legislation invalid, as being ultra vires the Constitution of India, more specifically Article 19(1)(g).’
The Supreme Court while adjourning the matter till the second week of March 2018 pointed out that ‘You can’t open (private law) colleges like this. There should be some restrictions. One person can’t have 10 children’. Further, it directed the Bar Council of India to furnish data with respect to:
- The number of colleges permitted to operate in a particular State
- The criteria for giving permission
- The law colleges which have been approved by it in various States