NLSIU justifies conducting NLAT 2020 as Petitioners, Critics condemn Decision

Meghdeepa Mondal Meghdeepa Mondal
Content Curator

NLSIU, Bangalore is bearing the brunt of conducting a separate entrance exam NLAT 2020 and not CLAT. As it contradicts NLU Consortium bye-laws, the institute told SC, NLAT 2020 is made in the public interest to avoid ‘Zero Year’. Read below.

National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, in its recent hearing, communicated to the apex court that NLAT 2020 was conducted for the greater good of the students.

The institute wanted to ensure students do not miss the opportunity to join NLSIU in the current academic year due to the subsequent delay in CLAT 2020. Owing to this, NLAT is justified and devised in the public interest to avoid a ‘Zero Year’. 

The court affidavit of the institute reads, “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.

Read | CLAT 2020 Practice Papers

Further, the Memorandum of Association and Bye-Laws of the Consortium of National Law Schools, which conducts CLAT exam, does not prohibit a member from conducting its own admissions test to determine admissions, especially when CLAT is not held by the Consortium.”

The Institute argued that conducting NLAT 2020 is not a breach of applicable laws. The NLSIU Act states the Chief Executive Body of NLSIU is helmed by the Executive Council that gives authority to NLSIU to conduct its admission process. 

Venkata Rao, erstwhile VC of NLSIU and a parent of the University student, Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla, filed a plea through advocate Vipin Nair that said, "It is also important to submit at the outset that both the Respondent No.1/NLS University and Respondent No.2/Vice Chancellor have never, at any point of time ever intimated either the student community or the Consortium that there was indeed a parallel move to have its independent separate examination apart from CLAT."

Read | NLAT 2020 Re-test Scheduled Today at 12:30 pm

Petitioners contended that the university is constantly in the eye of a storm. Since the decision was publicised, it has been challenged in different courts, disapproved by students, petitioners, critics and across media. 

All these backlashes find grounds in the onerous as well as exclusionary technical requirements specified by NLSIU for taking the entrance exam. 

Amid all the controversy that spurted, the apex court gave a nod to NLSIU Bangalore to host NLAT 2020 on Sunday (September 12, 2020). However, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has also directed the institute to abort announcement of results as the plea awaits settlement.

The bench headed by Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah asked the university and the VC Sudhir Krishnaswamy to respond in two days’ time. The apex court has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday.