The Uttarakhand High Court, on Wednesday, issued a notice to the Vice-Chancellor of National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi on a Petition challenging the minimum eligibility criteria laid down in order to appear for Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), 2018 for LLM.
The notice was issued by Justice Sudhanshu Dulia, on a petition filed by two law graduates Mr Deepak Rawat and Mr. Keshar Singh, who belong to the OBC and the SC category respectively.
They have now pointed out that the eligibility criteria to appear for the examination prescribes a minimum of 55% marks in subjects studied at LL.B. degree program for OBC and general category, and 50% for SC, ST and other reserved categories. This has been challenged as being "illogical, arbitrary, and vague and devoid of doctrine established by Article 13 and 14 of the Constitution of India".
The Petitioners claim to have obtained information from H.N.B. Gharwal University, Uttarakhand through an RTI application, which had revealed that more than 70% law graduates had failed to score more than 55% marks in their graduate programs, and would, therefore, be ineligible to appear for the exam.
They, therefore, submit, "...if the 55% eligibility criteria continue at the backdrop of the above information then the petitioners, as well as all other Law Graduates of the state of Uttarakhand who are aspiring to sit in the CLAT 2018 examination, will remain ineligible for entrance examination which represents more than 70% of Law Graduates."
CLAT, 2018 is set to be held on 13 May, 2018, from 3 to 5 pm. The online applications for the exam began on 1 January and the last date for applying is 31 March.
The 2018 exam will be organized by National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) Kochi, for admission to five-year LL.B (undergraduate) and LL.M (postgraduate) courses at eighteen National Law Universities.
Interestingly, this year's notification does not prescribe an age limit for appearing for the exam, unlike previous editions. The Supreme Court is currently hearing petitions challenging the age limit. As an interim measure, the Bar Council of India had, in March this year, increased the upper age limit for 5-year LLB course from 20 to 22 years, and for 3-year LLB from 30 to 45 years.
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