New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday quashed Bengaluru-based National Law School of India University’s decision to hold NLAT-2020 and directed it to admit students based on CLAT. With this “a student sitting in a corner of his small house in a village will get a chance to appear for the premier law entrance exams,” a lawyer said.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said the NLSIU shall conduct its admission process in accordance with the CLAT 2020 and also conduct the admission as early as possible.
Advocate Vipin Nair, who represented former NLSIU VC R. Venkata Rao and Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla, the parent of a student of the university, said the top court in an unanimous decision by a three-judge bench has quashed the NLAT exam conducted by the NLSIU, Bangalore after it pulled away from the pre decided CLAT exams fixed on September 28.
Nair said: “The Supreme Court has quashed all the notification issued by NLSIU in this regard. The top court has now permitted almost 77,000 students all over India to take CLAT, it has provide a level playing field to the under privileged and the disadvantaged.”
Senior advocates Arvind Datar and Sajan Povayya, represented the university and the Vice Chancellor of the university. Datar had contended before the bench that joining CLAT did not mean that the university surrendered its autonomy, and bylaws are in the nature of a contract.
Datar insisted that NLSIU has not exited CLAT, and will go back next year. “This year we decided to go separately to avoid zero year,” he argued.
The bench had queried why the length of the exam was reduced to 45 minutes from 2 hours, and students were told about this merely 10 days before the exam.
In a counter-affidavit, the university had said: “The academic year for the incoming batch of first-year students for the academic Year 2020-21 will fall short of 285 days if NLSIU does not complete admissions by September 18.
“Postponement of CLAT 2020 from September 7 to September 28 rendered completion of admissions to NLSIU and commencement of term by September 18, impossible.”
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