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Cong electioneers for ‘urgent’ 85% ‘son of soil’ reservations at Nalsar • Nalsar denies any violation

In the heat of election season, the Congress Party has called for Nalsar Hyderabad to institute 85% local resident reservation quotas, accusing the national law school of a “Blatant & Deliberate Violation Of Law Of Land” (sic) and “Causing Gross Injustice towards Sons of Soil, i.e., LOCAL Students of Telangana in General and Backward Class Students in particular” (sic).

Nalsar Hyderabad registrar Prof Balakista Reddy denied in a statement that Nalsar was violating reservation laws, and added in “unequivocal terms that NALSAR is not in violation of any law. In fact, NALSAR is fully complying law as far as reservations are concerned” (more details below).

The statement noted that Dasoju had his law wrong, and Nalsar was since 2010 only obligated under a 2010 amendment to its establishing act to provide the reservations it currently provides.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) national spokesperson Dr Sravan Dasoju held a press conference yesterday, according to a number of newspaper reports. He had also tweeted the three-page letter (see below) addressed to the current chief minister of Telangana, copying in to the high court’s chief justice and other education officials.

Dasoju in his letter requests “urgent intervention” before the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) date on 26 May, so that “85% of LOCAL students of Telangana and 29% of BC [backward caste] students get the benefit”.

He claimed that Nalsar provided only local candidate reservations amounting to 20% of total undergraduate seats, as opposed to a statutory requirement of 85%, in addition to not providing “any reservations” to backward caste (BC) students (while Telangana provided for 29% BC reservations).

That is despite receiving Rs 3.5 to 4 crores of funding from the Telangana government. “The NALSAR may have academic autonomy; but certainly there is no administrative autonomy to violate law of land”, he claimed.

Dasoju pointed out that DSNLU Visakhapatnam, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, apparently implements the appropriate reservations to BC students and “sons of soil i.e., Local Students”.

DSNLU’s CLAT brochure lists that it reserves 60 out of 120 seats (50%) for local students, of which a total of 30 seats appear to fall under the 15% SC, 6% ST and 29% BC reservations.

Nalsar statement

Nalsar’s statement by registrar Prof Balakista Reddy noted:

Prof. Balakista Reddy said that the NALSAR University of Law has to function in accordance with the NALSAR University Act, 1998. The Act originally did not provide for any reservation including local reservation. It was only in 2010 the NALSAR University Act was amended and Section 5A was inserted in the Act. Section 5A laid down that there shall be reservation of seats in the courses in favour of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Physically Challenged Persons, Women and resident students of Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana).

The amendment also specified that the reservation to the local candidates (resident students) will be only to the extent of twenty percent. Thus, it is clear that the NALSAR Amendment Act of 2010 does not include BC reservation and Legislative Assembly itself did not provide for 85% local reservation. Some other Law Universities such as National Law School of India University, Bangalore and National Law University, Delhi do not have either BC or local reservation. However, in some of the NLUs, the local reservation is to the extent of 10% to 25% only.

In fact the original 85% reservation provided in DSNLU, Visakhapatnam had to be brought down to 50% as CLAT Core Committee had refused to recognise DSNLU as National Law University due to such massive local reservation. Only when the local reservation was brought down to 50%, DSNLU was admitted as member of CLAT.

NALSAR has not received any communication either from the President of India under Article 371D or from the State Government to reserve 85% seats for the local candidates. In fact, if such a reservation is made, NALSAR will not be allowed to remain part of Consortium of National Law Universities as the national character of NALSAR shall be seriously undermined. NALSAR is an institution of eminence with just 120 seats in B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) and therefore providing excessive reservation may not be wise.

Thus, the Registrar has asserted in unequivocal terms that NALSAR is not in violation of any law. In fact, NALSAR is fully complying law as far as reservations are concerned.

The current figures

Nalsar 2019 intakes and reservations
Nalsar 2019 intakes and reservations

Nalsar’s CLAT brochure states that out of 105 total LLB seats, it has reserved a total of 16 seats in the general cateogry (15% of totals) for Telangana residents, 16 seats (15%) for scheduled caste (SC) students and 8 seats (7.5%) for scheduled tribe (ST) candidates. In total, including the SC/ST reservations, 21 seats (20%) are reserved for Telangana residents.

Telangana residents who would qualify in the All India merit list would not count against the reserved seats.

Nalsar’s most recent National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) submissions specified that in the total batch of 530 undergraduate LLB students:

  • 115 came from within the state (22%),
  • 45 were “economically backward) (8%), and
  • 105 were “socially challenged (SC + ST + OBC)” (amounting to 20%).

Congress says Nalsar flouting reservation rules
Congress says Nalsar flouting reservation rules

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