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CLAT 2017 challenged by GNLU student in Delhi HC for negligent question paper

The exception of impracticability doesn’t apply to CNLU after inconveniencing 50K CLATakers: GNLU student PILer
The exception of impracticability doesn’t apply to CNLU after inconveniencing 50K CLATakers: GNLU student PILer

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2017 convenor CNLU Patna is in the Delhi high court facing a writ for its negligence in framing the question paper.

GNLU Gandhinagar 2nd year student Devansh Saraswat has asked for the cancellation and rescheduling of CLAT 2017, on the ground that it was unfair to candidates to be made to answer a question paper riddled with 15 errors.

Saraswat, who has reproduced the alleged errors in the first annexure to his writ, commented: “I know the plight of students and how they prepare for [CLAT] for a year or two, even [drop a year], and after they are not getting a good college as per what they deserve, which they should under Article 21 [ of the Indian Constitution]. It is directly violating their right to life.”

Saraswat added that the errors were not the only thing wrong with the conduct of the exam for entry to 18 national law universities (NLU), as there were also “technical glitches” such as the test screen blurring out or allegedly not capturing all responses marked by candidates in many cases.

“There are various principles of natural justice under administrative law. I have read the books of IP Massey as well as various case law and although there is an exception of impracticability [against a re-exam], what about the NEET which was also conducted again, and what about the students who suffered?” he said.

Saraswat added: “Also the case in which the exception of impracticability is mentioned is from 1964 when it was not possible to tell everyone [interested in the exam that it was being rescheduled]. But now in 2017, in the age of the internet and the social media we can easily inform all the candidates if the exam is being rescheduled.”

Saraswat has also asked for a stay on the result declaration for CLAT 2017, however since he was only able to file the final copy of his petition by 4pm today after curing it of its defects, and because the result declaration is scheduled for tonight, he has also mentioned the alternate relief of stay on the NLU admissions process until the exam is rescheduled and held again.

CLAT published a revised answer key making 9 corrections, on 25 May, after at least 13 potential errors were identified in its original key. But it managed to correct a question that had two correct answers, by removing the previous correct option from the list, thus creating another error.

The convenor had more than Rs 20 crore at its disposal this year, through various channels of CLAT earning including the application fee from over 50,000 candidates to conduct the exam to avoid joining the long line of previous CLAT convenors who were brought to various high courts for the quality of the exam they conducted.

In 2015, professor Shamnad Basheer and others filed a writ in the Supreme Court seeking the creation of a permanent body to hold the CLAT ever year, to avoid such issues.

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