Supreme Court cancels NLSIU Bengaluru entrance exam

While cancelling the NLAT-2020 entrance exam, the apex court also directed that admissions in all 22 National Law Universities be conducted in accordance with CLAT-2020 which is scheduled to be held on Sept 28

Supreme Court cancels NLSIU Bengaluru entrance exam

Photo for representation only

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 21

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the National Law Admission Test (NLAT-2020) held by National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, on September 12 for admission to law courses.

A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan directed NLSIU to admit students to law courses as per Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) by mid-October.

The Bench - which had allowed NLSIU to hold NLAT, but restrained it from declaring results - said CLAT 2020 had to be held on September 28 as scheduled and in accordance with all safety guidelines prescribed by the Union Health Ministry.

The Bench said CLAT-2020 results should be declared at the earliest to enable law universities to commence admission process as soon as possible.

The conduct of CLAT-2020 should not be hindered by NLSIU in any manner, said the Bench which had reserved its order on September 17.

This year’s CLAT is slated to be held on September 28 but after an August 28 meeting of the consortium of National Law Universities, NLSIU on September 3 decided to hold its own entrance test – NLAT on September 12. NLSIU had said it won’t accept CLAT scores for admissions to its law courses this year.

However, NLSIU's decision to walk out of CLAT and to go for NLAT was challenged before the top court by former NLSIU Vice Chancellor Prof R Venkata Rao and some students and their parents.

Prof Rao had contended the decision to go for a separate NLAT will make NLSIU an "island of exclusion" from an "island of excellence".

Terming the decision to conduct a separate test as whimsical, baseless, manifestly arbitrary and illegal, Prof Rao had said, adding that  the present NLSIU Vice-Chancellor did not have the requisite consent from the academic council for it.

“The technical requirement of having a laptop and 1 Mbps of internet speed for taking home proctored examination, is onerous, arbitrary, discriminatory and illegal,” the petition submitted. 

Unlike the general universities which admit only those having already completed a three-year BA, BSc or BCom course, admission to NLUs is open to candidates passing their class 12 examination, provided they clear CLAT. 

The petitioners had submitted that the sudden unilateral decision of NLSIU had created unprecedented uncertainty, fear and confusion among the applicants who had been put to extreme pressure and mental stress.

 

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