The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), 2018 Grievance Redressal Committee has notified that aggrieved candidates may send in their representations relating to CLAT 2018 to the E-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is what the CLAT website says:
“In compliance with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 25.05.2018, in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 551/2018, it is hereby notified that candidates may send their representations relating to CLAT 2018 to email@example.com Candidates have to mention their Roll Nos., Programme, Name and Mobile No. in their representation. It may be noted that mails received up to 7.00 p.m. on Sunday, 27th May, 2018 would be under consideration.”
The Committee is set to hold its first meeting tomorrow at National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. However, sources told LiveLaw that there may not be any oral hearing in view of the time factor and in the absence of any court direction to that effect. The examination may be confined to the log details which are expected to be recorded in the servers concerned.
The Committee was set up in view of the Supreme Court order issued today for effective redressal of the grievances put forth by scores of candidates who appeared for the exam this year. The Committee will be chaired by former Kerala High Court Judge, Justice Hariharan Nair, and will also comprise of Dr. Santhosh Kumar G., Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science, Cochin University of Science and Technology.
The Bench comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Indu Malhotra clarified that the scrutiny would be conducted in two phases. It explained, "In the first phase, the representations/complaints already received and of all the writ petitioners before this Court as well as different High Courts may be scrutinized and appropriate report/ recommendation/ decision thereon be recorded by the appropriate authority before 29th May, 2018 to be produced before the Court on 30th May, 2018.
In the second phase, new/fresh representation/complaints received online up to 7.00 p.m. of Sunday, 27th May, 2018 be taken up for consideration and, if possible, the scrutiny thereof be completed on the same lines as indicated above up to 29th May, 2018 and status report in that behalf be filed before the Court on 30th May, 2018."
Candidates have now been directed to send in their representations to firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning their roll numbers, programme, name and mobile number by 7 pm, 27 May.
The order was issued by the Apex Court on a Petition filed by six students from three States demanding a retest of CLAT, 2018. The Petition, filed through Advocates Anand Shankar Jha and Siddharth Tiwari highlights various instances of "grossly improper, arbitrary and negligent conduct" of the examination, and claims that students from more than 15 States are likely to join the petition in the near future.
The Petition begins by listing down several hardships faced by the students due to the technical glitches that marred this year's examination, and submits that several students lost about 5 to 30 minutes due to such technical issues. Besides, it also places on record other problems faced by the students, including poor infrastructure of examination centers, lack of proper guidance from staff recruited by the examination centers and copying.
It thereafter contends, "...the lackadaisical implementation of CLAT 2018 has severely jeopardized the future of students who have sacrificed precious years to get a fair chance for those 2 hours, which was conveniently taken away from them on account of gross negligence exhibited by the CLAT Convener."
Notably, the Petition also highlights the fact that neither have the students' representations been acknowledged by the authorities, nor has an expert committee been appointed to look into the issues. Addressing this concern, the Supreme Court had, on Thursday, suggested setting up of a nodal agency to examine the grievances of candidates on a case to case basis and offer redressal.
It had then assured the Petitioners, "...whatever problems you have mentioned in your Representation shall be looked into on a case-to-case basis by some authority…if something remains, then we shall see…"
The matter will now be heard on May 30. The stay on proceedings in various High Courts will continue.