Pencil sharpened at the ready, set and go.Pencil sharpened at the ready, set and go.A Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2012 examinee lost out on a Nalsar Hyderabad seat due to a mistake in last year’s question paper, the Delhi high court has held.

NUJS Kolkata second-year student and writ petitioner Archit Krishna had attempted the 2012 CLAT and scored 141 marks, entitling him to his fourth preference – a seat at NUJS Kolkata – instead of a seat in NLSIU Bangalore or Nalsar, which would have been possible for him with scores of 145 and 142 points respectively.

However, Krishna had alleged in his writ WP(C) No 4147/2012 that four answers in last year’s answer key were marked wrongly entitling him to 145 marks, or at least 142 marks. He had sought a transfer to Nalsar or NLSIU from the Delhi high court.

The court found that the answer to one of the questions was indeed incorrect and Krishna’s correct score should have been 142, however, since the judgment was delivered in July 2013 – a year after Nalsar’s and NUJS’ 2012 batch – the court did not grant Krishna the relief of a transfer.

Instead the Delhi HC merely directed CLAT 2012 convener NLU Jodhpur to “declare the revised results of the petitioner within four weeks, treating option ‘C’ as the correct answer of Question No. 75”.

Question # 193

X went to Y’s house and forgot his bag which contained 1 kg sweets. Y’s children consumed the sweets. Decide the liability of Y.
(A) Y is bound to pay the price of sweets to X
(B) Y is not bound to pay anything
(C) Y is bound to pay half the price of sweets.
(D)Y would not have to pay anything because X loves Y’s children.

NUJS professor Shamnad Basheer, who is the founder of the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative, had petitioned the CLAT committee in August 2010 for dispensing with questions requiring prior knowledge of law in the paper pattern. He wrote in an email: “What I find most problematic is that the judge discusses an impugned question, the answer to which turns significantly on one’s prior knowledge of law.”

“As is obvious, ‘aptitude’ for the study of law is very different than ‘prior knowledge of the law’. A terrific knowledge of the law (gained through cramming tons of legal treatises) may be testament to one’s memory prowess, but not necessarily the ability to reason and think critically. Further, such testing of prior knowledge significantly disadvantages many students whose prior exposure to the law may be limited (by virtue of their lack of familiarity/nexus with the legal community or their failure to sign up to one of the many expensive CLAT coaching centres). In any case, why do we want to test them for prior knowledge of law, when they will anyway acquire it during the course of law school?” he added.

Institutionalising CLAT

Three CLAT 2012 candidates Ujjwal Madan, Shubham Sinha, and Osho Donnie Ashok had petitioned the Delhi high court in May 2012 seeking a permanent body to hold the CLAT every year. After the May writ was dismissed they had filed a letters patent appeal through advocates Gopal Sankaranarayan and Aditi Bhat.

Basheer commented: “Leaving it to whims of law schools each year that have to learn the CLAT game from scratch [is] a terribly inefficient way to run things and more problematically, a process that plays around with the futures of countless candidates. And this case is testament to this... that a deserving student did not get the law school he rightly deserved owing to a systemic issue with CLAT and the fact that the window between declaration of results and admissions are really tight, leaving most courts hesitant to grant any sort of effective relief.”

CLAT 2012 convener NLU Jodhpur faced writs for examining candidates on out-of-syllabus questions, while CLAT 2013 convener HNLU Raipur aggrieved candidates with mistakenly withheld results, exclusions of reserved categories, and software errors mixing up preferences. Revised law school admission lists were published to undo the errors.

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Like +3 Object -12 Guest 09 Sep 13, 14:55
slap on nujs face. can't even get legal reasoning right. this is the reason they are being recruited by third grade corporate.
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Like +11 Object -3 Atitidevobhava Not 09 Sep 13, 16:12  interesting
Quoting Guest:
slap on nujs face. can't even get legal reasoning right. this is the reason they are being recruited by third grade corporate.

With your comprehension skills (or the lack of it)that failed to notice that it was NLU-J which had conducted the 2012 exam, even a third grade corporate may not hire you.
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Like +5 Object -0 Justice Denied 09 Sep 13, 16:45  interesting
Regardless of which college you would like to slap, the sad thing here is that the petitioner did not get the relief sought. A perfect example of how the Courts mess things up when they do not apply the principles applicable to "injunctive remedies" when deciding writs where time is of the essence.
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Like +6 Object -0 AC 09 Sep 13, 15:20  interesting
What is the purpose of such litigation when a simple relief for transfer could not be obtained ? The poor lad should not be disheartened as there will not be much of a difference to his career in the long term. All the best !!
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Like +0 Object -6 Guest 10 Sep 13, 10:55
oh actually there is... in NUJS chances are she will not get placed or have to work in some coaching institute and be happy that she has been placed
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Like +1 Object -0 Noojie 18 Sep 13, 23:35
First of all, the petitioner is male, not female.

Also, what exactly are you basing this statement on? NUJS has actually had a good placement record, despite the state of the employment market. And there's no reason to assume the petitioner won't get a good job. So please check your facts before stating such things, otherwise you just come of as ignorant.
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Like +2 Object -0 Shacko 09 Sep 13, 15:45
The CLAT has been bungled too many times. The only well-conducted CLAT was the first one, by NLSIU. In my opinion, the petitioner should have been granted a transfer instead of being told oops, sorry.
Students across the law schools should petition the law ministry to improve the state of the national law universities. If something is not done about these issues soon, things will go from bad to worse.
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Like +5 Object -0 Guest 09 Sep 13, 22:34  interesting
The court itself had given the wrong answer to impugned question no. 75. Given the fact situation in q. no. 75 the correct answer should be 'b' and not 'c'. 'c' as prayed by the petitioner cannot be the answer by no stretch of imagination. How did he determine this compensation principle of paying half in the absence of any legal principle attached with the question which prescribes so. 'b' would be the correct answer as the facts very clearly say that X had forgotten the bag at Y's house and Y had no knowledge about it before it were eaten up by his children in order to attribute liability unto him. There can still be debate between options 'a' and 'b' but 'c' is out of question.

Hence the petitioner deserved that college where he is studying currently. So the court's order actually does justice in disguise only the means were not correct.
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Like +1 Object -3 C is correct - must appeal 10 Sep 13, 10:46
"C" is the correct answer because of the principle of contributory negligence. Since X was negligent himself and left the bag of sweets behind, which Y's children consumed, Y is only liable to pay half the price of sweets for his own share of negligence by virtue of his failure to act reasonably in safeguarding the property left behind on his premises by mistake. I appreciate that things are not so simple in real life but this is how CLAT questions work. Note: The CLAT requires that the given facts be assumed as the only facts of the case. If you disagree, please cite legal principles instead of making vague assertions about the correctness of another option, especially when the Hon'ble High Court has determined that C is the correct answer.

You also seem to believe that the Courts are empowered to do justice in disguise! Again, it is suggestive of your shocking approach to the law. Once the Court found C to be the correct answer - a finding of fact - a ruling on law contrary to the facts seems unjust. If I were the petitioner, I would appeal this. Our Courts are not empowered to refuse any sort of relief whatsoever when the facts show that the petitioner's right has been violated. Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium - where there is a right there is a remedy. At least, some compensation should have been awarded. In fact, justice would have been done if the appropriate preference had been awarded to the petitioner, whose first brush with the law has undoubtedly left him disappointed and disillusioned.
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Like +5 Object -0 Screw CLAT 10 Sep 13, 20:21  interesting
Excuse me, why should a law aspirant know these legal intricacies? Should we not test only for aptitude and not knowledge of law? What a lopsided way of picking students!
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Like +1 Object -0 CLAT is fine 11 Sep 13, 10:34
It is perhaps not incorrect to suggest that the CLAT should test only the verbal and analytical skill of aspirants. However, CLAT aspirants are aware - and previous years' papers are made available - that they must have basic knowledge of common law relating to torts, contracts, criminal and constitutional law (including some leading case law). Think of this - why shouldn't the lawyers of tomorrow be expected to gather some basic knowledge of law for the entrance exam when other institutions of excellence have tougher exams?

P.S. We don's ask why IIT-JEE should have Irodov level questions instead of simple ones based on Newton's laws, do we? :)
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Like +0 Object -1 sigh 11 Sep 13, 11:14
the JEE is not short of criticism either. the coaching-class culture has led to people getting through the JEE with 'brute force' and not simple analytical capacity, as it used to be.

legal knowledge/reasoning problems demand knowledge of special information that is not reliably available to law aspirants. i know because i went to a large nationwide coaching institute, got into a good NLU, graduated and now work in a firm. i was taught torts during coaching classes as well, but it was simplistic rubbish that i had to unlearn in college. in college, you learn that most tort/contract/criminal problems are arguable every which way, depending on the principles you use. there is often no one right answer.

the CLAT needs to get rid of the legal knowledge section.
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Like +1 Object -0 CLAT is fine 12 Sep 13, 17:18
Another perspective:

Maybe the CLAT should get rid of legal GK and test only analytical skills (which I acknowledged in the first sentence of my previous comment). I also agree that "brute force" even helps some CLAT aspirants in Tier 1 cities to crack legal GK, which is making the lawschools more elitist. However, until the syllabus is revised, CLAT aspirants are aware of what they must know and the comment from "Screw CLAT" could be answered from that perspective. Personally, I think it may not be a bad idea to keep legal reasoning (where the facts and the applicable legal principle are provided, thereby making it a reasoning test) and exclude legal GK (where knowledge of law is assumed).
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Like +3 Object -0 Shoddy 09 Sep 13, 23:18
Shoddy reporting Kian

The answer that the HC ruled was incorrectly answered was NOT the sweets question but NREGA question.

The dispute on the sweets question was between the first two options. Neither the CLAT committee nor the girl suggested that half the amount was due.

Come On!
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Like +1 Object -1 Confused 10 Sep 13, 09:32
How is the answer to the above "c"? Under what law is it pre-determined that half the price should be payable by Y? Kian, are you sure you got the reference to the question correct?
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Like +0 Object -0 dazed and confused 10 Sep 13, 13:40
Why have you printed Q 193 when the court held that Q 75 was wrongly answered... confusing!

Also, was that question earlier mislabelled 75?
What did the court say was the correct answer to this question? It cannot have been the half price one!
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Like +2 Object -4 nero 10 Sep 13, 15:24
Not only NALSAR but all other NLUs are ahead of NUJS because of the decline of the college since Prof Menon left and especially because of the current VC. NUJS students are cowards who do not have the guts to boycott classes hence the current mess.
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Like +2 Object -1 Current NUJS 10 Sep 13, 22:32
Quoting nero:
Not only NALSAR but all other NLUs are ahead of NUJS because of the decline of the college since Prof Menon left and especially because of the current VC. NUJS students are cowards who do not have the guts to boycott classes hence the current mess.

Well , i'm currently at NUJS. Yes there are problems.But two things, 1) boycotting classes is not the only option , and not boycotting classes doesn't makes us cowards 2) we're doing a lot on our own to remedy the present situation. But since you're on the outside you don't know.

So before knowing anything, stop making baseless statements which are so lacking in facts , that they don't even deserve a retort.Climb back into the hole you call law school and stay in there or stay out and keep making statements like this , Because in or out you don't matter, and your law school doesn't even figure. We're NUJS. We're right at the top with NLS and NALSAR and we'l stay there
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Like +0 Object -0 CLAT writ 11 Sep 13, 07:29
Prof Basheer is right about these legal questions that assume knowledge of law. Why ask students legal questions before them come to law school? I hope the writ petition by Gopal Sankarnarayan in Delhi addresses all of this. What stage is it at?
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Like +0 Object -2 Lex is Rex 20 Sep 13, 00:56
The Correct is answer is option "a". It is based on Section 72 of Indian Contract Act which is reproduced below. However, please note that there is world of difference between forgetting something and being negligent. There is no negligence in the present case.

Section 72 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872
72. Liability of person to whom money is paid or thing delivered by mistake or under coercion.- A person to whom money has been paid, or anything delivered, by mistake or under coercion, must repay or return it.

(a) A and B jointly owe 100 rupees to C. A alone pays the amount to C, and B, not knowing this fact, pays 100 rupees over again to C. C is bound to repay the amount to B.
(b) A railway company refuses to deliver up certain goods to the consignee, except upon the payment of an illegal charge for carriage. The consignee pays the sum charged in order to obtain the goods. He is entitled to recover so much of the charge as was illegally excessive.
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