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Déjà vu: Supreme Court NLAT bench to hear CLAT challenge Friday, with Gopal Sank’n

Justices Bhushan, Reddy, Shah to get an update on what has happened since NLAT

CLAT challenge to be heard Friday
CLAT challenge to be heard Friday

The Supreme Court petition by several Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) aspirants challenging the exam over technical issues and results, is listed to be heard on Friday (9 October), according to the court’s cause list.

In a virtual repeat of the the successful Supreme Court challenge against the abortive National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) only a few weeks ago, the virtual hearing will take place in court number 4, before justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.

As a refresher, that bench struck had down the NLAT, with a 100+ page judgment and after two days of hearing, while also ordering the CLAT Consortium to conduct the CLAT and “ensure that the entire process of declaration of the result be completed as early as possible to enable” NLSIU Bengaluru and other national law universities (NLUs) to “start their course by the mid of October-2020”.

In other words, the CLAT consortium might find itself in a bit of an awkward situation before their Lordships.

Also reprising his role is senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who had also appeared for petitioners in the NLAT.

We understand that Sankaranarayanan has now been instructed by advocate Ankita Chaudhary in the upcoming CLAT case. He declined to comment when contacted.

Appearing for the CLAT Consortium is senior counsel K Parameshwar (we believe he is one of the few faces who was not also in the NLAT matter).

Of course, in the NLAT petition, CLAT and the petitioners were effectively jointly arguing against NLSIU Bangalore. On Friday, they will be advancing their case on opposing sides.

Whatever else goes down, the schedule will be tight as the counselling process started early this morning and NLUs have been scheduling to have completed admissions by 14 October.

There are also several unanswered questions that would be valuable for the Consortium to address in court.

Our analysis published earlier today, for instance, showed that around 4,500 candidates scored less than 10 out of 147 points on the exam, while 40,000 scored below 30% of totals possible.

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