Law and Society

CLAT v/s NLAT : The Untold Perspetives

The legal battle between the Consortium of National Law Universities (“NLU”) and National Law University of India University, Bangalore (“NLSIU”) is a matter of interest to both lawyers and the aspiring lawyers. A lot of deliberations have been made on the competency of NLSIU to conduct separate entrance exam (“NLAT”) and now it is left to the Supreme Court to decide the matter on 21st September, 2020. Instead of going into those arguments, the present article discusses certain perspectives, which were not put forth before the Court.

Legitimate expectation of students not considered

When the students applied for CLAT in the month of March, 2020, they understood that they had a chance to get into NLSIU, the top most ranked Law university of the country along with other NLUs provided they cleared the entrance examination with appropriate merit. In fact, when the students paid the entrance fee of Rs 4000 (Rs 3500 for reserve category) for CLAT examination, they had the expectation to enter into any of the twenty-two NLUs of the country. When NLSIU backed out at the last moment and went on with its own entrance examination NLAT, the legitimate expectation of the students who had enrolled for CLAT was dashed on two fronts; first, they could not compete for NLSIU, and second, they could compete for only twenty-one NLUs though they had paid to compete for all twenty-two. True, the Counsellor for VC of NLSIU claimed that they had taken enough step to publicize the new development and also kept the examination fee a bare minimum. But this argument does not resolve the unanswered issue: when the students were required pay Rs 4000/- to appear the entrance test for admission to any of the twenty-two NLUs, they had to actually pay an additional Rs 150/-. The authorities cannot wish away saying Rs 150/- is a meagre amount. Taking a cue from Sr. Adv. Mr. Sankarnarayan’s analogy of changing the rule of game (cricket-football analogy) and Sr. Adv. Mr. Datar’s counter argument to it, the author would like to say that (if at all any analogy could be made), one bought a ticket of cricket match for 28th September, only to know that he would be allowed to watch a football match on 12th September with additional expense. Continue reading