The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2012 committee potentially faces public interest litigation (PIL) after test-takers emerged from the 200 mark exam today disconcerted by questions requiring prior legal knowledge and static general knowledge, despite assurance to the contrary on the examination’s official website.
CLAT coach Rajneesh Singh said on the Facebook page of CLAT prep website Clathacker.com: “Static-ness continues and that too after they announced at clat.ac.in that no legal knowledge and no static. PIL going to be filed against CLAT. some people are going to do so. The case is very strong.”
“Sign me up for it too” commented several candidates on Singh’s post.
“Examiners should be more responsible,” rued one aspirant adding “I want to sue them for my time which I will never get.”
“We should really do something regarding this because our future depends on this,” called out another candidate on the Facebook protest page against CLAT 2012.
25,769 candidates, up from last year’s 23,875, competed across 20 cities for 1702 undergraduate law seats according to Times of India, in the common entrance exam for selection to 14 participating national law universities that was conducted by NLU Jodhpur from 3 PM to 5 PM today.
“CLAT cheated us” and “CLAT can never be trusted” were among the first few updates this evening, on online CLAT discussion forums.
CLAT’s website had stated that candidates will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical or a legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself.
However questions in the legal aptitude section clearly seemed to flout this assurance. A case in point being a question that stated the legal principle, “majority is not competent to contract”, and then without further explanation went on to ask whether a contract with a minor is “void”, “voidable”, or “void ab initio”.
Other alleged questions included those on the concept of “joint liability” in the Indian Penal Code, and those requiring being well-versed with eminent jurist Austin’s principles.
It was further stated on the website that the general knowledge section will only test students on their knowledge of current affairs: “broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012".
General knowledge questions in the paper today on the contrary asked for the year 2010 declared brand ambassador of UNICEF, the name of the “S-shaped” ocean, and the longest Indian highway.
There was a minor Facebook controversy over a question asking for the location of the Akshardham temple, which most people thought they passed in Delhi, while the smaller, less lustrous original version of which exists in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Though rants such as “NLU-J has scammed us”, among others resonated after 5 PM today, some candidates observed that the length of the paper was good enough for them to finish it before time.
“I finished my paper 20 minutes before time”, chirped a candidate excitedly.
The unexpected nature of the question paper apart, it was reportedly fairly easy in comparison to the All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) conducted by NLU Delhi a week ago.
According to a latest update on Clatgyan’s Facebook page, a Rohini Delhi test centre attracted some bad press and parental fury when three candidates from allegedly influential families forcibly used unfair means by getting certain non-candidates to write their paper.
Advocates who are parents of other candidates appearing at the Rohini centre have also resolved to file a PIL tommorow.
Delhi reported the largest number of test-takers for CLAT 2012, with 6,113 candidates taking the test in 10 centres across the city, according to Times of India.