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Political protests outside RMLNLU gates vs CLAT as 5 writs linger: What can happen now?

Politicians at the gates of RML
Politicians at the gates of RML

As political protests were organised in Lucknow against the CLAT yesterday and the Rajasthan high court adjourned its hearing in the writ petition against the CLAT to today after the CLAT’s senior counsel did not appear, we take a look at where the litigation stands while the national law schools prepare to close the process in July.

According to the Facebook page of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) state committee member Shantanu Srivastava:

Amidst heavy rain in Lucknow today, more than 100 ABVP kaaryakartas reached the RMLNLU campus and started shouting slogans against the discrepancies in CLAT exam. Shocked by this unprecedented event, the RMLNLU administration called upon the police and locked the main gates from inside. Unstopped by this, the kaaryakartas climbed up the main gate and jumped inside the campus. At last the Procter of the university came out and received our memorandum addressed to the CM. Giving the RMLNLU administration one week's time, to resolve the issue, we all returned back.
Going to Delhi tonight to meet Central Law Minister, Government of India, Sri Sadanand Gauda for the same issue.
Jai Hind, Vande Matram.

Legally India has reached out to RMLNLU Lucknow for comment but could not confirm whether there were in fact “more than 100” protestors.

Politics aside, it could be an understatement to say that the Common Law Admission Test 2015 has landed itself in a mess. It is facing challenges in at least six high courts (that we know of) and has been the subject of multiple stay orders (and a fair bit of rumours and speculation) ever since the model answers and seat allocation lists began coming out over the past month.

While advocates appearing for the CLAT convener before the Bombay high court have said that they are initiating proceedings to club all matters in the Supreme Court, it has become tough for budding NLU students to keep track of the disagreements and predict how it can ultimately be resolved.

It also doesn’t help that the office of the current year’s CLAT convener at RMLNLU has been remarkably uncommunicative ever since the results came out.

In how many places is CLAT 2015 facing legal proceedings?

As far as we know, CLAT 2015 is facing proceedings in at least six high courts: Kerala, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bombay, Jabalpur and Allahabad. Most of these cases relate to controversies over the accuracy of questions asked and the answers provided by CLAT 2015 in the exam, while the Allahabad high court ordered the CLAT to publish a full merit list.

Has any high court ordered a stay on CLAT 2015 proceedings? How is the CLAT convener not in contempt if stay has been ordered?

The Kerala high court had ordered a stay on the second allotment list for two weeks on 15th June.

However, a lawyer for the CLAT convener in the Bombay high court told Legally India that RMLNLU had still not been served with a copy of the court’s order, therefore there was no question of contempt in releasing the new allotment lists.

The question of whether the CLAT convenor had constructive notice of the Kerala high court order after news reports is more difficult to answer.

The lawyer also told Legally India that the Bombay high court had never ordered a stay, unlike as reported by Legally India and other publications, relying on the order which . We have clarified the original articles.

Are all cases being clubbed before the Supreme Court? When might that happen?

Senior counsel Ravi Kadam, the advocate who appeared for the CLAT convener before Bombay high court has said that the process of clubbing all cases before different high courts and bringing them before the Supreme Court has been initiated.

However, there is no official update as to when such a proceeding will be formally moved before the Supreme Court. For now, advocates for the CLAT convener are appearing before courts all over the country.

What are the possible outcomes and how might the CLAT 2015 process be affected?

For now, the allotment and admission process seems to be progressing as per procedure. The general tendency of the courts is that they rarely interfere with the admission process. As the Bombay High Court indicated on 25th June, only if the questions being contested are proved to be wrong will they consider giving any orders regarding the admission or allotment process.

Court

Controversy

Court’s Directive

CLAT’s response

Present Status

Kerala high court

CLAT not releasing complete merit list of all candidates

On 15th June court directed CLAT convener to release complete merit list. Also ordered stay on release of second allotment list for two weeks.

Complete merit list released. Went ahead with release of second allotment list.

Rajasthan HC, Jaipur Bench

Writ filed claiming at least 15 questions in CLAT UG exam incorrect or impossible.

On 9th June CLAT convener served with notice asking response.

CLAT expert committee accepted at least three questions as incorrect.

Final response by CLAT convener before court listed for 30th June after adjourned on 29th June.

Rajasthan HC, Jodhpur Bench

Writ filed seeking clarification over 7 questions in CLAT PG exam.

On 12th June court directed CLAT convener to consider petitioner’s representation, respond.

No response yet from CLAT authorities.

Bombay high court

Writ filed seeking clarification over 7 questions in CLAT UG exam.

On 20th June court admitted a petition contesting the accuracy of seven questions and asking for interim relief.

Advocate for CLAT convener appeared before court on 23rd June, submitted that objections had already been considered. Also said that CLAT shall initiate proceedings to club all matters pending in different high courts.

No interim relief has been granted. In the proceedings on 25th June, court has asked CLAT convener to submit clarification regarding the seven questions being contested. Next hearing on 30th June 2015

Madhya Pradesh HC, Jabalpur

15 CLAT candidates allocated NLIU Bhopal in first list. Downgraded to lower-preference colleges in second list.

On 23rd June court ordered stay on changes in second list, maintained status quo of first list.

No response yet. Status of the 15 candidates remains unclear.

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