HC Deb 08 June 1899 vol 72 cc641-3

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the control of legal education in Calcutta is wholly in private hands, the Government Presidency College having no law department, and the four private colleges teaching up to the full course of the University law degree; and whether he will state upon what grounds the Bombay Government have now decided to pursue a different policy, and consider it not advisable that the control of higher legal education in Bombay should he wholly or partially in private hands.


The facts are as stated in the first paragraph of the question. The grounds on which the Bombay Government decided that the control of higher legal education should not in Bombay be allowed to pass to private institutions are thus stated in a letter from that Government of the 1st September, 1898:— In the opinion of this Government it is inadvisable to allow the control of higher legal education to pass to private institutions, for the administration of the law is undoubtedly a part of the general administration of the country, and in spite of the fundamental dissociation of law front politics there is a distinct danger of the perversion of legal instruction to political uses.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether for the last few years the Bombay Government have contributed nothing to the support of the Government Law School, but on the contrary have made a yearly profit of about Rs.8,000 from the fees paid by the students, and have now resolved to raise these fees; whether he is aware that the Bombay Government refused to sanction the affiliation of the proposed private College of Law on the ground that they desired to improve the Government School by means of these enhanced fees, and were therefore unwilling that students should be diverted to another institution; and whether this prevention of the establishment of a private College of Law has been sanctioned by the Government.


It is a fact that the fees received at the Government Law School at Bombay have during recent years exceeded the expenditure, but I doubt whether the average excess has been so much as Rs.8,000; in 1896–97 it was only Rs.3,190. It is also true that the Bombay Government have resolved to raise the fees; but this is not to make a profit out of fees, but to make the new organisation self-supporting. I answered the second and third paragraphs of the question in my reply to the hon. Member's question of the 16th May last. The question of the fees had nothing to do with the refusal of the Bombay Government to sanction the application of the private institution to the Bombay University.


Will the noble lord ascertain from the Bombay Government which of the contradictory reasons they rely upon for preventing the establishment of this private college?


No, sir I can add nothing to my answer.