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Five Kerala CLAT students allege they were dumped to CNLU despite Nuals preference & one ST ignored

CLAT candidates complain about University allotment mistakes again; HNLU stays put
CLAT candidates complain about University allotment mistakes again; HNLU stays put
Six Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2013 LLB aspirants have alleged mistakes in the first university allotment list that was released by CLAT 2013 convenor HNLU Raipur on Sunday.

The aspirants are considering legal recourse against the CLAT convenor and committee after HNLU declined to admit the mistakes and take corrective action.

Preference swap

Five of the six complainants, including one Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) scholar, are from Kerala and have alleged that their preference for Nuals Kochi in their CLAT form was swapped with CNLU Patna. They were therefore allotted Patna despite securing a rank which made them eligible for Nuals.

A source with knowledge of the process told Legally India that Nuals and CNLU were listed next to each other on the CLAT 2013 form. The source also said that HNLU, when contacted, said that the error was likely made by the aspirants at the time of filling the form and that HNLU had made no mistake.

Nuals dropped below RMLNLU Lucknow and CNLU in law school preference this year, according to Legally India’s CLAT preference analysis.

Reservations

IDIA scholar and Scheduled Tribe (ST) CLAT candidate from Nagaland, Vinatoli Yeptho, who secured an all India CLAT rank of 13,186, was not allotted a law school despite her category-based reservation entitling her a seat.

Yeptho had filled in her category as ST Hills, instead of ST, and the CLAT convenor rejected her request to be treated as an ST candidate after the seats reserved for ST Hills this year were filled.

IDIA volunteer Lekden Basi wrote the following email to the CLAT helpdesk yesterday morning at 5am:

“It is to point out that there has been some error in the allotment list of CLAT 2013. I am writing this mail on behalf of one of our candidates, Miss Vinatoli Yeptho (Roll Number- 130310089), who falls under the All India ST category. Now, her rank has been displayed on the results as 13186, with a score of 59.75. Although there are other candidates who have ranked much below her in the same category, she has not been allotted a seat. […]

Now, it is established by the CLAT brochure that there is no distinctions for "ST Plains" students or "ST Hills Students" in any university, except NLSJA, Assam. If it is based on an ALL INDIA ST RANK basis, I would like to point out that VINATOLI YEPTHO is supposed to be allotted a seat as well. I would be much obliged, if the CLAT office would correct this wrong. We have also been trying to get through to the CLAT office since 10 AM today morning, it would be very helpful, not only to us, but to all other anxious candidates if you could please answer the phone calls.”

The CLAT office sent the following reply to Basi yesterday evening:

“It is hereby informed you that you belong to ST Hills and only 3 seats were allotted for ST Hills in NLSJA, ASSAM. Therefore, you can not be treated as ST candidate.”

IDIA founder Shamnad Basheer wrote in another email to the CLAT helpdesk, soon after the reply was received by Basi:

“[…]the fact that she is ST Hills does not disembowel her status as "ST". After all, "ST" is the super set and "ST Hills" is but a subset.

To offer an analogy, consider another CLAT category, namely that of "PWD Women". A girl that falls within this category does not automatically cease to be a "woman" or a "PWD" candidate. She is a "woman". She is a "PWD" candidate and she is also a "PWD Woman" candidate. She has to be considered under all 3 categories and that has been the way it has worked with CLAT in the past, to the best of my knowledge.”

Basheer’s email has received no response yet.

IDIA will file a writ to secure Yeptho’s seat before the second university allotment list is released by Raipur, if the convenor does not respond favourably before.

HNLU vice chancellor Prof Sukhpal Singh said: “Whatever we are doing we are doing as per the rules laid down by the core committee. This year we are relying only on the information furnished by the candidates in the application form. Whatever queries are coming to us [we have looked into them by having] manually checked so many things. If [the candidates] have made any request or complaint we have checked that and we have found that they have committed errors in giving their preferences.

Now they are confused that the person who has got lower marks than [them] has got a higher [ranked law school]. This is their fault.”

“This time we have not asked the candidates to submit any kind of supporting documents. It has been made clear in the brochure that whatever information they have furnished in application form will be final for us. So our action is based on the information furnished by them. Now they are requesting us to change the information but we cannot do anything,” he added.

Singh said that Yeptho’s request cannot be entertained because every state’s national law school has provided rules for intake based on the policies of the state.

The CLAT 2012 first university allotment list also had to be reshuffled after candidates reported errors. Two writs were filed against the CLAT committee and convenor last year. NLU Jodhpur was last year’s convenor.

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