The Centre for Disability Studies and Health Laws has found that a majority of national law universities (NLUs) do not follow the 5 percent criteria for reservation of seats for persons with benchmark disabilities as provided for in the Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016.
The Centre, after studying the brochures and admission notifications of all NLUs in India concluded that only five NLUs follow the reservation rule.
“Only 5 of the 21 NLUs -- These are National Law School Of India University, Bangalore; National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University and Tamil Nadu National Law School -- provide five per cent reservation in Undergraduate and postgraduate courses,” it found.
“…the most blatant violation is seen in the case of MNLU (Maharashtra National Law University) -Nagpur. Out of all the 21 NLUs, this is the only one to not have reserved a single seat for PwBD (Persons with Benchmark Disabilities),” the study concluded.
It is to be noted that Section 32 of the Rights of Persons with the Disabilities Act 2016, provides that all government institutions of higher education and other higher education institutions receiving aid from the government shall reserve not less than 5 percent seats for persons with benchmark disabilities and give them an upper age relaxation of five years for admission.
The Centre also took note of the use of the term ‘specially abled persons’ (SAP) by the NLUs.
“The term finds no mentions in either the 1995 Act or in the 2015 Act. We feel that it wasn’t any individual institute’s choice but rather a direction of the organising university since in the application form and in the Admit Card too for CLAT 2018, the term specially-abled persons was used,” it said.
Besides, the study found that there are some NLUs like National Law Institute University, Bhopal and National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi, which follow the 5 percent reservation rule in part.
“Though they have followed this rule in PG courses, they have flouted it in the UG courses,” it said while also pointing out that the rounding off of 5 percent seats is also erroneous as in cases like that of WB National University of Juridical Sciences, which should have reserved 5 percent seats for Indian students (5.6 of 112 seats in UG courses), it has been rounded off to 3.