2 Dec 2022 8:45 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court on Friday allowed a law student to withdraw his PIL challenging a Central Government notification which imposes a precondition on candidates appearing for SSC (NT) JAG entry scheme 2023 to have appeared for CLAT 2022 PG program. A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi orally observed that a public interest...
The Karnataka High Court on Friday allowed a law student to withdraw his PIL challenging a Central Government notification which imposes a precondition on candidates appearing for SSC (NT) JAG entry scheme 2023 to have appeared for CLAT 2022 PG program.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi orally observed that a public interest litigation petition is not maintainable in service matters. Moreover, when a selection agency wants a candidate having a certain qualifications, the Court cannot sit over the decision.
"It is a service matter, PIL is not maintainable, if the agency selecting candidates wants a specific candidate of a particular stature, we cannot sit as appellate authority over the selective committee decision for considering academic standards," the bench said.
Advocate Maitreyi Hegde, appearing for the petitioner Purbayan Chakraborty, a Final year law student at Karnataka State Law University's Law School, Hubli, contended that the precondition excludes economically backward class students who study law in government colleges by paying a nominal fee and are not able to undertake CLAT exam due to exorbitant fees of Rs.4000.
However, the bench suggested the petitioner to approach the appropriate authority to raise this grievance. "Are students belonging to economically backward classes not applying for CLAT?" it orally remarked.
The plea had said that imposing a precondition that the candidates should have appeared for CLAT 2022 PG program and making selection on the basis of this, militates against the fundamental right to equality of opportunity in public employment guaranteed under Article 16 of the Constitution.
Further, it was said that a law student has approximately 8 chances to appear for JAG entry. Now when the Clause adding preconditions that a person should have given the CLAT preceding year means if a person does not clear JAG in his first attempt then again he'll have to apply for CLAT which means he'll have to pay again and again Rs. 4000.
Moreover, CLAT examinations are meant for the entrance examination in the National Law Universities across the country. However, the persons who opt not to pursue LL.M in such institutions do not appear in CLAT examination. That does not make the petitioner any lesser candidate. As long as the institutions are approved by the Government, the state cannot discriminate between the NLUs and non-NLUs, the plea said.
It had added, "CLAT consortium is not a government body and the Ministry of Defence does not have any control whatsoever over the examination."
The plea prayed for a direction quashing the impugned notification published on August 24 and to conduct the JAG exam on the basis of other criteria such as academic excellence.
Case Title: Purbayan Chakraborty v. Union of India
Case No: WP 19157/2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 495
Date of order: 02-12-2022
Appearance: Advocate Maitreyi Hegde for petitioner.