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Karnataka appeals NLSIU reservation strike-down to SC, as expected

The Karnataka state government has appealed the high court’s striking down of the NLSIU Bengaluru horizontal reservation of 25% to the Supreme Court of India, as first reported by LiveLaw today.

LiveLaw had reported:

The SLP filed by the government states that the judgment passed by the high court is erroneous and is liable to be set aside firstly because the Public Interest Litigation filed by two alumni of the National Law School, ought not to have been entertained by the high court in view of the judgment of the apex court in the case of Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee v. C.K. Rajan, (2003) 7 SCC 546.

Secondly on merits, it is said that the high court has erred in holding the Amendment Act to be invalid on the ground that the said amendment is contrary to the intent and spirit of the Act. The SLP says that a legislation can be invalidated by a writ court only on the grounds of: (a) lack of legislative incompetence; (b) violation of Part III of the Constitution or any other constitutional provision; and (c) manifest arbitrariness.

There was no other ground on which to strike down state legislation, said the government, noting that it had the legislative competence to pass amendments to NLS’ establishing act.

More details in LiveLaw‘s report.

As we had reported on 30 September after the Karnataka high court’s judgment striking down the reservation, an appeal to the Supreme Court by the state government was all but certain.

As we had reported back then also, it is likely that the NLSIU case might be applicable to more national law universities (NLUs) than merely India’s first one, since many employ very similar language in its establishing acts (and several had in fact also been set up by the so-called father of NLSIU, Prof Madhava Menon).

A petition challenging the NUJS Kolkata reservation before the local high court in West Bengal also currently remains pending, with NUJS having admitted students with the reservation.

The NUJS petition has its next hearing scheduled for this coming Monday, 7 December, with hearings having been limited so far due to Covid-19.

NLSIU had not admitted under the reservation in this intake, after the high court’s judgment striking it down.

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