In a Public Interest Litigation filed by three law students, the Government informed the High Court of Kerala that there will not be total exclusion of non-domicile candidates from LL.B admission in Kerala from next academic year.
Three law students of Government Law College, Ernakulam - Gajendra Singh Rajpurohit, Akhil George and Thanseela M.B - filed a PIL in the High Court of Kerala challenging Clause 6(i) of the Prospectus for Kerala Law Entrance Examinaiton for 2018-19, which stated that to apply for LL.B entrance a candidate :- a) should be of Kerala origin, or b) should have studied in Kerala for not less than 5 years, or c)should have resided in Kerala for at least 5 years.
The student-petitioners appeared in person in the Court, arguing that the Clause discriminated Indian citizens on the basis of place of birth, violating the mandate of Article 15 of the constitution of India. It also acted as a restriction imposed on right to move freely inside the territory of India, guaranteed under Article 19(1)(d) and violated the mandate in Article 19(1)(e) of the constitution of India which guarantees the right to reside and settle in any part of India.
It was also contended that the classification had no nexus with the object sought to be achieved, which was to weed out non meritorious candidates. Therefore, the clause amounted to illegal classification, violating Article 14.
It was further pointed out that the Clause failed to reckon 3 classes of people :- 1)Children of Central Government employees of non-Kerala origin who are presently working in Kerala, 2) Children of State Government employees of other states other than the respondent state presently working in Kerala and 3) Children of Non-Keralite people working in Kerala and have been residing in Kerala for less than 5 years.
On September 11, at the time of admission, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar passed an interim order permitting outside Kerala candidates to provisionally appear in the examination for 2018-19. When the Court considered the matter next on October 3, the Government Pleader informed that the candidates who were provisionally permitted to appear had failed to secure the minimum qualification marks. Hence, the Court noted that even if the petition was allowed, it will not benefit any of the candidates who were permitted to appear in the exam.
The Government Pleader also informed that in the coming academic year, the prospectus will be modified to ensure that there would not be any exclusion of candidates from outside the State in the LL.B admission process. Recording this submission made on behalf of the Government, the writ petition was closed.