The Hyderabad High Court on Monday paved the way for 3-year LLB Course graduates to apply for the post of Law Clerk, directing the Registry to amend a notification which had made eligible only graduates from the 5-year law course.
The Bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice T. Rajani ordered the Registry to extend the last date for application, if necessary, observing that it did not “see any reason as to why they should be excluded”.
It, however, clarified that graduates with a 3-year law degree obtained through distance mode would still not be eligible for appointment.
“There are lot of institutions which offer 3 year law degrees, without the candidates having to strain themselves by attending classes and writing examination. The object of appointment of fresh law graduates as law clerks was not intended to provide employment, but to provide an opportunity to fresh law graduates to hone their skills. Therefore, the first contention relating to the exclusion of holders of 3 year degree in law is upheld with a caveat,” it explained.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by Hyderabad based Advocate S.M. Saifulla, challenging the notification as being “discriminatory in nature and opposed to principles of natural justice”.
The Bench, however, refused to set aside another condition that stipulated that the applicants should not have enrolled as advocates in any State Bar Council. Noting that this requirement was based on sound reasoning, it observed, “A candidate, who is already enrolled, may have commitments to his clients. The engagement of a person as a law clerk, would involve the exposure of such candidates to confidential matters, both on the administrative side and on the judicial side. Therefore, any conflict of interest that a practising lawyer may have in such circumstances, was sought to be avoided by providing the prescription in para 5(iv) of the notification. Hence, we do not think that the second objection can be upheld.”
Read the Order Here