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Or am I reading things wrong? I know the counselling registration fees are refundable, but there's nothing about the confirmation fees in the refunds section. It says instead the confirmation fees are to be forfeited if a candidate chooses to exit counselling in the later rounds.How does that make sense?

I'm mainly preparing for JEE. I can't make a decision now on whether I'd even be going to the NLU I'm getting. Wasn't the whole point of CLAT being conducted in Dec to avoid a clash with other competitive exams? Or was it just supposed to get money out of students who haven't fully committed to pursuing a career in law?

Please tell me I lack basic reading comprehension and the CLAT counselling procedure isn't just a cash grab.
There will be litigation if forfeiture happens. The Consortium will get thrashed in the court as usual. Then they will refund anyway.
From what I have seen on online forums, there are many like me who took CLAT without focusing on it and did well, but all of them are opting not to register for counselling. I doubt there will be many people taking CONNLU to court. And even if they do, didn't the Supreme Court criticise the Consortium for overpricing CLAT? What came of it? I'm not a lawyer, but I can't see why they will be forced to refund the fees if they stated the confirmation fees were non-refundable in the Information Bulletin.
There is an UGC regulation. It requires the universities to refund 90% of the fees even if a student withdraws within the first semester.
Wait, really? Lmao. Just checked - if I withdraw from counselling in May it's apparently possible to get a full refund.

Thanks for this. No point in not going through with counselling then, at least for the second round. Not sure if a lawyer's fees won't eat up the refund, but I guess I should keep my options open when there are UGC regulations in my favor.
It is an explicit cash grab. If a candidate who is allotted a seat and confirms the same through freeze or higher preference allotment through float and then exits at some point (university fee payment for first two rounds is mentioned sometime in May), the confirmation fee will not be refunded.
You're probably right. It's hilarious that they chose to go to such lengths to assure the counselling registration fee would be refunded. Why do that when they want to hardball candidates who want to keep their choices open? Why even conduct CLAT in December? Instead, repeated assurances in the refunds section about the counselling registration fees being refundable, only to mention once that the confirmation fees would not be refunded, lulling candidates into a false sense of security. Masterful.