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CLAT age limit may yet return as convenor withdraws SC appeal to allow high court challenge

CLAT 2015 convenor RMLNLU Lucknow’s vice chancellor Prof Gurdip Singh said that the convenor was ready to approach the Allahabad high court for recall or review of its 26 February ex parte judgement, in which it had directed the convenor to allow applicants of all ages to take the CLAT.

RMLNLU, which had appealed to the Supreme Court against the Allahabad high court’s 26 February judgment, on 27 March sought leave of the court to withdraw the appeal so that it could still move the high court against its own order.

Singh told Legally India that the decision to withdraw its appeal was made after it came to the convenor’s notice that the Allahabad high court had dispatched the notice of hearing to the convenor only on 2 March. The 26 February ex parte hearing had therefore taken place without notice being served on the convenor.

Singh said that until a final order was obtained, it was “premature” and not proper on his part to predict whether successful older CLAT applicants would be allowed to join CLAT universities.

In their 27 March order which was made available by the Supreme Court on 30 March, justices V Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan stated:

Learned senior counsel for the petitioner seeks leave of this Court to withdraw this petition reserving liberty to the petitioner to move the appropriate Court either to recall or review the impugned Order. Permission sought for is granted. If such an application/petition is moved by the petitioner, the High Court shall consider the same and pass order in accordance with law. With the aforesaid liberty, this petition stands disposed of.

The Rajasthan high court had also made an interim order directing the convenor to temporarily allow candidates of all ages to appear for the exam, instead of sticking to the age limit of 20 years for general category candidates and 22 years for special category candidates.

Singh told Legally India that around 40,000 candidates had registered for the exam and paid its application fee as of 31 March, but there were around 22,000 others who had completed CLAT’s online application form without depositing the fee.

The application deadline was therefore extended to 14 April allow the candidates to apply who had not yet paid the fee.

Photo by Michael Surran

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