Consortium terms NLSIU decision ‘arbitrary, irrational’


The Consortium of National Law Universities told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the decision taken by the Bengaluru-based National Law School India University (NLSIU) to disregard the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) and conduct their own separate entrance test is “arbitrary, irrational, and fanciful”.

Faizan Mustafa, secretary of the consortium, said the NLSIU’s move has put aspirants under “tremendous mental stress”. They have to now appear for two tests instead of one for admission to national law universities.

CLAT is now scheduled for September 29 while the controversial National Law Admission Test Under Graduate (NLAT-UG) – 2020, conducted exclusively by the NLSIU, is on September 12.

Mr. Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR in Hyderabad and represented by advocate K. Parameshwar, was responding on behalf of the consortium to a petition filed by the former Vice-Chancellor of the NLSIU R. Venkat Rau, along with a parent.

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Mr. Rau, represented by advocate Vipin Nair, described NLAT as an “elitist” online admission process. He said the sudden notification by the NLSIU about a separate admission test has left thousands of aspirants in a state of fear and confusion.

Mr. Mustafa, in his turn, said the NLSIU has no powers to devise an independent admission process.

The NLSIU has gone against the “core values of the consortium and policies and decisions of the governing body”. He said this turn of events undermined the very basis of legal education in the country.

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The consortium said even the updated technical requirements for conducting NLAT online was not enough. Mr. Mustafa said technical requirements like 1 Mbps bandwidth, laptops which are audio and video enabled, etc, “suffer the vice of discrimination” and creates inequities.

The consortium dismissed as “flawed” the NLSIU’s defence that NLAT was devised to avert the prospect of a ‘zero year’, which had loomed heavy due to the continued delays in the conduct of CLAT.

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Sagar Biswas

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