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Courting contempt? Bombay HC again stays 2015 CLAT allotments, notes RMLNLU’s silence [READ ORDER]

Bombay HC: Not impressed
Bombay HC: Not impressed

The Bombay high court has stayed publication of the final allotment list of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015, in an order passed on Saturday (20 June), noting that the CLAT convenor has not complied with an earlier direction of another high court by publishing a new allocation list.

Clarification: One lawyer for the CLAT told Legally India that the Bombay high court had never ordered a stay. The order leaves some ambiguity in interpretation, but it appears from subsequent orders that the Bombay high court had not intended a stay.

Keeping in mind the urgency expressed by the petitioner's counsel, Justices VL Achliya and Anoop V Mohta said: “To avoid further complications, it is desirable that further proceedings referring to the final list needs to be stayed immediately. Therefore, at this stage, keeping all points open including contentions raised by the petitioner, we are inclined to keep this matter on 23rd July, 2015 (HOB) for final disposal.”

Update: The earlier stay has since been reversed by the Bombay high court.

The petitioner Shubham Dutt had appeared in this year’s CLAT, initially securing a rank of 258. This dropped to 278 after the CLAT corrected two wrong answers in its official answer key.

However, Dutt had made a representation to the CLAT committee over seven questions on 10 June, in which no hearing was given to him and which remained unresolved, according to the high court's order. The CLAT convener also refused to accept copy of the writ petition, Dutt submitted in an affidavit before the court.

The first indicative allotment list had been released despite the CLAT authorities being hit with questions from all sides.

Saturday's order was the latest in a string of controversies surrounding this year’s CLAT, following an earlier Kerala high court staying the publication of the second allotment list.

On 15 June the Kerala High Court had stayed publication of second allotment list in a petition filed by CLAT candidate Anand G Nair. Nair had asked the CLAT to publish a full merit list of all candidates in accordance with the rules mentioned in the CLAT prospectus.

While the full merit list was subsequently published, objections raised with regard to the exam’s questions still remained unanswered.

The Bombay high court noted CLAT's apparent non-compliance with the Kerala order, stating

A petition was filed in Kerala High Court at Ernakulam on 15th June, 2015, on the basis of similar objection raised by the petitioner therein. Interim order was passed against respondent No. 1. However, as stated, in non-compliance of the same, on 15th June, 2015 itself 2nd list was published without considering the objections so raised.

Another writ petition had been filed before the Rajasthan High Court’s Jaipur bench challenging 15 questions, as reported by Legally India on 15 June.

RMLNLU Lucknow joint-registrar Dr JD Gangwar, who heads up the CLAT organisation for this year's convening college, was not reachable by phone. RMLNLU vice chancellor Gurdip Singh did not respond to a call and message seeking comment.

The third allotment list was released on the CLAT website on Sunday.

Hat-tip to @superselector5 on Twitter for the news.

Bombay high court order
Bombay high court order

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