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CLAT challenged in SC for retest over alleged technical issues, results, wrong questions [READ PETITION] • Unconfirmed rumours of 40k complaints

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), Bar & Bench has reported.

Update 14:30: We have embedded a copy of the petition below.

The petitioners, who are a “bunch of CLAT 2020 aspirants” who are unnamed in the article, with the petition filed by advocate Ankita Choudhary, cites many of the alleged technical issues we had first reported about the CLAT in the last few days.

However, the CLAT had responded yesterday that its expert analysis had not found any credible basis to any complaints, maintaining that its system had worked as intended (despite arguably slightly vague instructions, in part).

The CLAT also corrected four questions with wrong model answers, and removed three questions outright.

According to Bar & Bench, the petition alleges that results by the consortium are “wrong, erroneous, and incorrect” and “biased”, with the petition listing the following grounds for their challenge:

1. The candidates have chosen/selected/ticked correct answers; however, it is reflecting in a result that us wrong and/or different options have been chosen/selected/ticked.

2. The result is displaying and calculating marks in those questions, which were not even attempted by the candidates.

3. Candidates have chosen/selected/ticked different options; however, in the results, different answers are shown as chosen/selected/ticked.

4. 10 questions are either wrong themselves, or their answers which are uploaded on website are wrong.

According to Bar & Bench:

The conduct of exams must be done in an unblemished way, the petitioners aver, citing the precedents laid down by the Supreme Court. The petitioners, therefore, pray for the CLAT 2020 to be declared violative of Articles 14 and 15 and for a fresh round of the exam to be held, without the technical glitches that the first round allegedly faced.

As we had pointed out in our earlier article on the alleged issues and possible technical reasons for some of these, the challengers may face an uphill struggle in the courts, which may have little appetite to further delay the admissions process following the apex court’s striking down of the National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT).

How many complaints, uncertain

The CLAT consortium has so far not officially confirmed the number of complaints it has received, though we have requested a number, and we have not been able to authoritatively confirm the number of complaints.

However, The Hindu had reported that:

Sources said that over 40,000 objections were raised. The consortium refused to confirm the number, though admitted that it ran into several thousands.

The Times of India also reported the 40,000 figure, couched in similar terms:

According to sources, around 40,000 objections were received for technical issues and answer keys. However, the consortium did not confirm the number. “We received thousands of objections. I do not have the numbers off-hand. It can be given later,” said CLAT convener Balaji Chauhan told STOI.

That 40,000 figure seems extraordinarily high and unlikely, as if they are objections from separate individuals that would be nearly 70% of the 59,000 candidates.

We have also not been able to authoritatively confirm that number from more than one anonymous source, but have put the figure to the CLAT convenors for comment, confirmation or rebuttal.

What is more likely is that these are all the aggregate objections from all candidates, including multiple submissions, and potentially also separately counted objections about each wrong question and answers (of which the CLAT accepted that seven questions and answers were incorrect).

On 2 October, The Hindu had quoted CLAT convenor Prof Balraj Chauhan that only around 400 grievances had been received.

The CLAT Is due to release final score lists by tomorrow (Monday 4 September), with admissions due to start by mid-October.

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for the Supreme Court and challengers.

Read CLAT 2020 petition

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