The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to entertain the plea challenging the imposition of domicile reservation in National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that since the impugned law is passed by the State of Karnataka, and the Respondent University is also situated in Karnataka, the court at Delhi cannot exercise jurisdiction in the matter.
The court, however, has given liberty to the Petitioner to move the appropriate forum.
The court said:
'What are you doing in Delhi, the concerned law pertains to the State of Karnataka. You can't move this court's jurisdiction just because you reside in Delhi. You have impleaded so many bodies in the petition who do not even have anything to do in this case.'
Filed by Mr. Shubham Kumar Jha, the petition challenges the 25% horizontal imposition of domicile reservation in NLSIU which has received the Governor's assent on May 04, 2020.
Appearing for the Petitioner, Mr Shadan Farasat, argued that he has not invoking the territorial jurisdiction but the "cause of action jurisdiction" as enshrined under Article 226(2) of the Constitution.
'The Petitioner is a student living in Delhi who is applying for CLAT 2020. The Respondent University conducts examinations not only in Karnataka but all over the country. Therefore, this court does have cause of action jurisdiction', Mr Farasat argued.
While dismissing the petition, the court said:
'The interest of your client is at stake here. Time is of essence, and you should move the appropriate forum.'
In March, the Karnataka State Assembly passed the National Law School Of India (Amendment) Act, 2020, which received the Karnataka Governor's assent on May 4. 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."
On June 29, the Delhi HC had stayed the decision of National Law University, Delhi, to introduce 50% reservation for students passing qualifying exams from National Capital Territory, observing that the same was taken without the approval of the Governing Council of the University,