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Implementing BCI age limit, Clat committee bans 21 year olds

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) core committee decided to bar candidates above the age of 20 years from appearing in the CLAT, 2017 onward, following the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) September 2016 circular to law schools reinstating the age bar for the LLB degree in India.

CLAT mentor Rajneesh Singh, citing the Hindi edition of Hindustan Times, yesterday posted on Facebook: “Age bar is back for CLAT 20 years it is. Although it is a press report as of now and official notification is expected in November or December.”

Singh added in his post on Facebook: “I support age bar but 21 years like NLU Delhi is the best solution. This could have solved all the problems. Many students will miss by few days or weeks if it is considered as 1 July. If they consider 1 Jan then also many students will be saved. I think they should have announced this much earlier because many students took a drop based on no age bar. Moreover it seems to be a violations of Allahabad [high court] orders which was directly to CLAT That time CLAT appeal to SC was also rejected.”

The BCI sent a circular dated 17 September, to all law schools, stating that the Legal Education Rules age bar, contained in clause 28 of schedule III, had been restored by the regulator in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to it to do so.

The Supreme Court upheld, in December 2015, a Madras high court order in which the high court had ruled that the BCI’s withdrawal of the age limit clause was not proper. However, in May 2014 the Allahabad high court had held that there can be no age limit for attempting the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).

The Kerala high court, however, made an interim order on 25 October, in favour of petitioners who had challenged the restoration of Clause 28, citing “substantial controversy” in the application of the age limit rule, reported Live Law.

Justice AM Shaffique of the high court directed the commissioner for entrance exams to permit candidates above the BCI prescribed age limit to take law entrance exams in the state.

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