The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Central Government, acting on a petition claiming difficulties for students in taking online Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), seeking directions to hold the CLAT-2016 in online as well as offline modes.
The notice was issued by the Bench of Justice SK Mittal and Justice HS Sidhu on a petition filed by Hemen Aggarwal, an advocate, who had submitted to conduct offline examination, along with online examination, for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the law universities for 2016-17 academic session scheduled to be held on May 8.
He said, “Only the online mode was available for the examination, which put students from rural areas in a disadvantageous position. There was poor infrastructure of computers etc. in rural areas, adding that both online and offline modes should be available for students to ensure a level playing field.”
“Students who have passed their Class XII examination from the schools falling in rural areas and even from the city schools face a lot of difficulties in taking examination online,” the petitioner added.
Prof. Shamnad Basheer, a legal scholar of repute had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking the immediate intervention of the Court against the opaque and inefficient implementation of CLAT. Stating that almost all the CLAT exams have been characterised by egregious lapses over the years the petitioner has sought the setting up of a “robust, structured and institutionalized mechanism for conducting CLAT to avoid uncertainties and reduce the scope for errors and lapses.” Read more at Live Law.
Later a two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court had issued notice to Union of India, Bar Council of India and Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala, on the said PIL. The matter which is still pending was heard by a Bench of Justice Thakur and Justice Gopal Gowda. Senior Advocate K.K.Venugopal appeared for Prof.Basheer. Prof. Basheer has also alleged that “the paper setters have also been accused of extensive plagiarism,” ciitng examples of such plagiarism. Read more at Live Law.
Started in 2008, CLAT was held offline till 2014. Last year, it was conducted online by Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow. A reply from the respondents has been sought by March 2.
The examination for admissions to 17 National Law Schools of the country is conducted on rotational basis by participating institutes.
This year, it is being conducted by Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala. The last date to fill the forms is March 31.