The National Law School of India University on Thursday informed the Karnataka High Court that it is not a 'State university' as is being contended by the State of Karnataka.
Senior Advocate Uday Holla appearing for the Institution submitted :
"The submission of the state government that NLSIU is a State University is not correct."
He relied on section 3 of the Karnataka Universities Act, which specifies which are the Universities which are deemed universities. It also specifies that Managlore, Bangalore, Gulbarga and Mysore Universities, are State Universities. Secondly, the Karnataka State Law University Act, section 6 (II) (iv) excludes the NLS from the ambit of the Act.
The submission was made during the hearing of a batch of petitions challenging the 25 percent domicile reservation introduced by the state government on April 27, for Karnataka Students.
A division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Ravi V Hosmani was informed by the University that the Executive Council has not passed any resolution on providing the reservation and left it to the court to decide.
Holla said "The University said as of date apply the Amendment Act, subject to the decision of the court."
Holla also gave details about the budgetary allocation of the University. "Total budgetary estimate for this year is Rs 30 crore. We get funds from various sources. Major source is the efe we collect from students for regular courses as well as distance education courses. We also get institutional fees for projects we get. State funding is 'very minuscule'. This year it is Rs 50 lakh. In the last 16 years on an average from the state we have received 50 lakh annually."
In response to the query of the court on how the 25 percent reservation is allocated and how the 5 percent concession of marks is given to Karnataka Students. Holla clarified that "No candidate will get marks beyond the 'total marks' of the exam after being given the concession marks under the reservation."
He concluded by saying "We (NLSIU) are conducting Kannada classes for the first time this year. It is not that the University is against Kannadigas or Karnataka, we even offered to the state to do the reservation in a phased manner."
Adv Lakshmi Menon appearing for the Consortium of National Law Universities told the Court that an interim order at this stage will affect the applicants.
Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi will make his submission on August 31.
In March, the Karnataka State Assembly passed the National Law School Of India (Amendment) Act, 2020, which received the Karnataka Governor's assent on April 27. As per this amendment, NLSIU should reserve horizontally twenty-five percent of seats for 'students of Karnataka'.
The amendment inserts the following proviso in Section 4 of the National Law School of India Act :- "Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act and the regulations made thereunder, the school shall reserve horizontally twenty-five percent of seats for students of Karnataka."
As per the explanation of this section, "student of Karnataka" means a student who has studied in any one of the recognized educational institutions in the State for a period of not less than ten years preceding to the qualifying examination."
Report about previous hearings may be read here :
'Domicile Reservation Goes Against Objective Of National Law School': Bar Council Of India Tells Karnataka HC
'It Will Only Help Students Of Elite Schools': Karnataka HC Asks State To Clarify Who Will Benefit From NLSIU Domicile Reservation