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CLAT PILer vows appeal to SC, raps Patna HC for bias in dismissing CLAT irregularity allegations outright

Patna HC has attracted allegations of bias from a petitioner whose writ was thrown out by a judge who should have recused from hearing it

CLAT petitioner alleges bias: Patna HC judge/CNLU member should have recused & heard case propertly
CLAT petitioner alleges bias: Patna HC judge/CNLU member should have recused & heard case propertly

The Patna high court was “biased” in its decision to dismiss a writ questioning the legality of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2017 tender, the writ petitioner has alleged.

Presumption in order

The petitioner Divyanshu Shekhar said that the high court’s order stating that the writ was a publicity seeking stunt and proxy litigation, without going into the reasons for why the judge held such beliefs, indicated that the judge merely “presumed” these things.

Natural justice principle

To make matters worse, said Shekhar, Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi who gave the order dismissing the writ, was professionally associated with the respondent CNLU Patna and was therefore a judge in his own cause, thus violating a principle of natural justice.

According to the high court’s website, Tripathi “is keenly involved in the setting up of the Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) at Patna and is presently a member of the General and Academic Council of the University. Justice Tripathi is also a member of Academic Council of National Law School Bangalore and special invitee to BCI Education Committee.”

Evidence supressed

Shekhar further alleged that the HC also suppressed part of the evidence in the case by preventing him from filing a “supplemental affidavit” that contained right to information (RTI) responses and the tender awardee’s allegedly dubious history, which we had reported when first publishing Shekhar's copy of his PIL.

Who is eligible to file a PIL?

Shekhar had brought a public interest litigation (PIL) before the HC alleging that the CLAT 2017 was unfair and should be conducted afresh, as the tender to conduct the exam was compromised by CLAT 2017 convenor CNLU Patna.

He had alleged that CNLU had awarded the tender through a dubious process, to an organisation which was not only ineligible under the tender conditions but which also had an unclear history.

Justice Tripathi had ordered, however, that it was not Shekhar’s place to bring such a writ without any “direct interest” in the cause of action.

Shekhar commented today: “Our Learned Judge Ajay Kumar Tripathi have ignored the meanings of Public Interest Litiation i.e. Public-Interest Litigation is a legal contest fought judicially, to armor the public interest. It is introduced in a court of law, not by the aggrieved party but by the court itself or by any other private party. It is not necessary, for the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction, that the person who is the victim of the violation of his or her right should personally approach the court.”

“These all questions shows that it is a biased decision by the Court and thus safeguarding the interest of CNLU,” Shekhar added.

He said that he would be moving the Supreme Court against the decision.

CLAT candidate emails

Shekhar had also yesterday forwarded us four emails he had received on 27 June (22 days after the HC registry had accepted Shekhar's writ), purportedly from four different CLAT candidates, complaining about the unfairness of the CLAT 2017 and voicing their support for his PIL. Excerpts from those emails below:

I spent more than 15 precious minutes for those questions which were wrong and I tried to reach nearest answer first clat gave me marks then deleted my question afterward which lead loss of 1.25marks and my ranks falls by at least 200 BUT the main issue is who will compensate for the time which I wasted in solving such wrong question and because of which i won’t get sufficient time to solve other section of question paper.

I spent 2 years on clat 2017 last year I dropped to get better college this year but irregularities in clat 2017 spoil my dreams and my hard work along with dreams of my parents. Re exam of clat 2017 will be only fair remedy for me and other deserving students. Thank you so much for raising voice in this matter it will be a great help for aggrieved students like me who cannot raise voice against injustice alone .

SIR, I am [...] from Assam.CLAT roll no- [...] was preparing for Clat for last one year. And I was confident that that I would get into any NLU this year because all my were being cleared for all the subjects. I filled the form by paying Rs 4000 for a single form. It not a joke Rs 4000 is a very big thing for a middle class family. But for our better future parents did whatever they could and paid the amount. With lots of hope I went to give the exam. But when the computer was mujhe nahi pata ki mei shocked hu ya kuch aur. Preparing for the whole year and what I got was wrong questions I saw black infront of me I felt like crying in the exam hall. It was the last chance for me as I already was I dropper all my dreams were broken. I nearly wasted more than 40 minutes in solving or guessing that wrong questions answer. For the fault of CNLU we innocent are suffering. This is our future not a game which way they like they would play. Justice should be brought. Re-exam should be conducted

the company behind conducting the exam, should be closed and also the amount given to the company for conducting exam should be penalised for such errors in papers. The amount recover from this should be used in reducing fees of students .

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