Supreme Court quashes NLSIU’s entrance test, orders early result of CLAT | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the September 3 notification issued by the National Law School India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, for conducting a separate National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) on September 12 for admission to its UG and PG courses.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy and MR Shah has held that NLSIU could not have issued the said notification without the recommendation
of the academic council, as required under the provisions of National Law School India University Act 1986.
The top court directed for the conducting of Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) on September 28, by taking all precautions to address the health safety of candidates after following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the ministry of health and family welfare and ministry of human resource development (MHRD).
A directive has been issued for ensuring the declaration of results at the earliest so as to ensure that courses start by mid-October.
Of the 24,603 candidates registered for NLAT for UG courses, 23,225 appeared; 2,846 of the 2,935 registered candidates wrote the exam for PG seats. A re-test was held on September 14 in the wake of complaints of technical glitches.
Academic council recommendations were a must: SC
NLAT was challenged by Venkata Rao, a former VC of NLSIU, and also by the parent of an aspirant student.
The top court pointed out that when the NLSIU wanted to conduct NLAT as an online, home-proctored test of 45 minutes containing 40 questions, which was different in mode and manner from earlier prescriptions, the recommendations of the academic council were a must as the test was being conducted instead of CLAT as was being done for more than a decade.
As regards the contention of NLSIU that the academic year may become “a zero year” if admissions are not made before September 30, the bench has said that year 2020-21 is not a normal academic year in which universities are expected to carry on their teaching and other activities in normal mode and manner.
“The NLSIU could have very well found out ways and means to start the academic undergraduate law course even in the middle of October 2020 after the conduct of the CLAT on September 28, 2020 ” the bench said.
Further, in view of allegations of irregularities, malpractice and a retest on September 14, the top court said home-based online examination as proposed by NLSIU for NLAT 2020-21 could not be considered to be a test that maintains transparency and integrity of the examination.
“The short notice and technological requirements insisted by the university deprived a large number of students to participate in the test violating their rights under Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” the bench added.

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Sagar Biswas

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