The Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court.

SC gives nod to NLAT-2020; restrains NLSIU from declaring results

Petitioner term move to conduct a separate exam as an illegal decision

Agency Report | New Delhi | 11 September, 2020 | 11:40 PM

The Supreme Court gives the green signal to National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, to conduct separate exams — NLAT-2020 — scheduled on Saturday, but asks it not to announce the results till the plea is pending.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah sought response from the university and its vice-chancellor Sudhir Krishnaswamy within three days. The top court will conduct further hearing on the matter on September 16.

The Supreme Court bench issued the directions on a plea filed by the parent of a student and a former vice-chancellor of NLSIU challenging a notice to conduct a separate entrance exam for the university.

The bench said, “It is an important matter. It is a matter which needs to be decided.”

The petitioners have termed the move to conduct a separate exam as an “illegal decision”.

Former NLSIU VC R. Venkata Rao and Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla, the parent of a student of the university, contended in their plea that such unilateral decision to hold the National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) as entrance exam to the university was taken without any application of mind, thereby completely prejudicing the students at the final hour besides putting their career at jeopardy for purely whimsical reasons.

The plea filed through advocate Vipin Nair said, “Ostensibly, it appears that the sole aim of Respondent No. 2 (vice-chancellor Sudhir Krishnaswamy) is to turn Respondent No. 1 (NLSIU) from an island of excellence to an island of exclusion.”

The plea contended that this action by NLSIU has created an unprecedented uncertainty.

“It is apparent that the aforesaid measures undertaken by Respondent No. 2 is solely directed at creating an elitist institution which caters to those who are able to afford to take the test and have the luxury to fulfil the other absurd conditions, while completely ignoring the aspirations of the poor, marginalised and less privileged candidates,” said the plea.

The petitioners urged the top court to quash the notification for admission to the five-year integrated BA, LLB (Hons) programme, 2020-21, read with the press release on NLSIU admissions 2020-21 dated September 4, 2020.

The plea contended that this decision of the university is in direct violation of the fundamental rights of the students who desire admission, especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.