The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Tk 1.0 million on Southeast University for enrolling more than 50 students in its law department for a semester in breach of the rules set by the University Grants Commission or UGC.
An Appellate Division bench of four headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order on Thursday in the presence of South University’s Trustee Board chairman Md Rezaul Karim and vice chancellor prof Anwar Hossain.
It came after the court on Wednesday penalised City University for violating the same UGC directive, which stipulates that no private university can admit more than 50 students to its law department per semester.
The apex court directed Southeast University to pay the fine to the Bangladesh Bar Council.
The 86 law students from the university, however, will be allowed to take the bar council exam on Feb 28 once the receipt is shown, the court said.
Lawyer AY Mashiuzzaman and SM Kafil Uddin represented the bar council while Ashiq Al Jalil appeared on behalf of the students.
The university has to pay the fine from its own funds as it cannot be realised from the students, said Kafil, citing the court order, bdnews24.com reported.
The bar council issued a notice in 2019 which states that students from any private university violating the UGC directive on admission to law departments would not be registered as lawyers.
Around 2,000 students from 11 private universities subsequently filed a petition challenging the bar council's decision at different times.
The High Court subsequently issued several rules on these petitions and allowed the students to sit the bar council exams.
On hearing the petition filed by 86 students of South East University in October last year, the court ordered the bar council to allow them to enrol as lawyers of the High Court.
The bar council appealed against the ruling and the chairman and vice chancellor of South East University was subsequently summoned by the top court.
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