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Fait accompli? Most NLUs steamroll on with CLAT admissions despite HC orders; NLU Assam VC bemoans ‘irreparable damage’ done

The CLAT colossus: Unstoppable?
The CLAT colossus: Unstoppable?

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015 admission process was closed on Tuesday before the Bombay high court order that could result in a merit list reshuffle could be fully implemented.

CLAT’s website announces: “It is for the general information of all concerned that as per the CLAT-2015 calendar, central admission process of CLAT-2015 has been completed on 06/07/2015, therefore, CLAT office stands closed with effect from 07.07.2015.”

However, the Bombay high court had on 2 July ordered an eight-day-process through which the convenor was to arrive at a decision on the alleged inaccuracies in CLAT 2015’s question paper and answer key by constituting an expert panel.

The panel was to give its finding by today, and revise the candidates’ merit list accordingly if applicable in the next four days.

The Chhattisgarh high court had also ordered for experts to examine the postgraduate CLAT question paper.

A source close to the CLAT process today told Legally India that the expert committee has submitted its findings to the convenor, who is expected to make the report public any time now but this would have little consequence for the admission process as classes for the LLB and the LLM programs had begun on 1 July at most national law schools, as scheduled.

“If errors do emerge then merit list will have to be revised but not without giving notice to those already admitted to the colleges - I don’t think courts would indulge into this sort of a thing [of cancelling and redoing admissions]. It is all over this year,” the source claimed.

NLUJAA Guwahati vice chancellor Prof Vijender Kumar commented: “There must be a centralised system in the future with an office in probably Delhi and salaries to staff out of the proceeds of the CLAT. For this year irreparable damage has been done. I cannot imagine how [the students who lose out on seats due to errors] can be compensated. Many have been pushed out of the legal fraternity. It will be losing out on good budding lawyers.”

He said classes for LLB and LLM courses at NLUJAA will start around 20 July but since classes have already begun at other NLUs there was not much use for the expert committee’s report now.

RMLNLU VC Prof Gurdip Singh and CLAT secretariat head and RMLNLU joint registrar Dr JD Gangwar did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment.

Photo by Norbert Schnitzler

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