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Government not really bothered about CLAT either way, it tells SC

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is of no interest to the government, submitted the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in the Supreme Court yesterday, in response to Shamnad Basheer’s challenge to the conduct of CLAT by national law universities (NLUs).

In his writ praying for the establishment of a permanent CLAT body of experts which will take over the mandate to conduct the exam from the 17 NLUs, Basheer had impleaded the central government through the MHRD

The MHRD stated in its 26 October affidavit:

“MHRD was never involved in the aforesaid CLAT examination. However,the comments of University Grants Commission, the apex body regulating higher education in the country, are that CLAT is a non-statutory body brought into existence by 17 NLUs through an instrument of MoU ”

“Conducting entrance examination for admission into programmes of study is an internal matter of the university which is autonomous to devise any such mechanism with the approval of its competent councils in the interest of quality and standard of education. UGC does not interfere with universities in such matters. The NLU conducting the CLAT examination for a particular year is responsible for a free and fair conduct of examination.”

“Hence it is submitted before the Hon’ble Court that the Union of India through secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development is not concerned with the CLAT ”

Basheer had also made the Bar Council of India (BCI) a party to his writ. After the SC fined the BCI Rs 25,000 for failing to file a response in the writ, the BCI responded last month and argued that the mandate to conduct CLAT should be handed over to the BCI on the alleged ground that the regulator had conducted the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) in a “most fair and transparent manner”.

Government response (PDF)

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