NLU Consortium has filed its affidavit in the SC through their Secretariat and NALSAR Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Faizan Mustafa. The present affidavit is filed in the case challenging the decision of NLSIU to conduct NLAT. The challenge is made by an aggrieved parent of a CLAT aspirant and is further supported by the former vice-chancellor of NLSIU.
The affidavit filed on behalf of the consortium contains some notable submissions. It has been stated in the affidavit that the decision of NLSIU of conducting its separate exam is in violation of Clause 15.3.3 of the bye-laws. Being a member of the consortium, the admission is to be based on CLAT operated by society. The bye-law reads as: “A member institution shall ensure that the admission to every academic course or programme of study in each member institution shall be based on merit assessed through a transparent and reasonable evaluation namely CLAT operated by the society”. NLSIU has gone against the Memorandum of Association and bylaws of the consortium which states that the ‘Consortium will be the sole entity which conducts the law admission test. i.e. CLAT’. Reasons for the postponement of CLAT are accorded to the imposition of lockdown in West Bengal on September 7 and for the interest of student’s health considering the pandemic situation. They further called NLSIUs false claims and stated that ‘consortium was kept in the dark about its decision to hold separate exam’. Previously, NLSIU had stated that it was the unanimous decision of the consortium to allow NLSIU conduct the exam if CLAT is further postponed.
The affidavit also mentions that the decision is in contravention of NLSIU’s parent statute, National Law School of India University Act, 1986. NLSIU’s executive council is not empowered to change the mode of admissions without the concurrence of Academic Council of the act. One of the important concerns for NLSIU is the trimester system followed by the University because of which this year can be a ‘zero year’ if admissions not conducted now, as stated by NLSIU. To this concern consortium has submitted that according to UGC, 180 working days are required in every academic year which can easily brought down to 120 considering the low down guidelines. In light of this, trimester period can also be reduced to 8 weeks per trimester. Even if class resumes from 15 October, ‘there is no threat of it being a zero year’.
They further stated that the difference of 15 days is not going to make a huge difference in the academic period. CLAT and NLAT are scheduled to happen on 28th September and 12th September respectively. Affidavit contends that with the technical requirement mentioned, NLSIU has also undermined the basis of legal education by creating issues of accessibility and discrimination.
-Samyak Jain (LC Content Writer)
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