The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices in a petition seeking orders to quash directions passed by the National Law University, Tripura wherein the University has cancelled the admission process initiated for the Academic session 2022-23 on the ground of want of state domicile quota after the completion of the admission process.
The Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, which was heard by a bench of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka, has been preferred by the petitioners “for protection and upholding of their fundamental rights as enshrined under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.”
The petition seeks for quashing of the Order dated 19.12.2022 issued by the National Law University, Tripura, Agartala cancelling the admission process initiated for the Academic session 2022-23 on the ground of want of state domicile quota pursuant to the communication dated 16.12.2022 of the Director of Higher Education Department, Govt of Tripura. The petitioners have also sought for quashing the communication dated 16.12.2022 of the Director of Higher Education Department, Govt of Tripura wherein the department has raised the issue of state domicile quota in the admission process.
The petitioners have further prayed for directing the National Law University, Tripura to resume the process of admission for the Academic session 2022-23 particularly of the petitioners or in the alternative directing the Consortium of National Law Universities, Bengaluru as well as the University Grants Commission and Bar Council of India to accommodate the petitioners by granting them admission for the academic session 2022-23 in any of the various National Law Universities in India, so that their academic year is not lost.
The timeline for the admission process for the academic year 2022-23, as contended by the petitioners in the writ petition, is as follows:
The National Law University Tripura, vide Advertisement dated 10.10.2022 Invited online applications for admission, on the basis of CLAT- 2022 score, interalia in its first batch of five years integrated B.A.LL.B. (Hons.), the total seats of which is 60 besides the Master of Laws (LL.M.) course.
It is important to note that in the notification, the reservation quotas as per the existing Government policies were properly made. The aspect of domicile, however, was not mentioned. The last date of receiving application by email was 22.10.2022.
Upon notification dated 24.10.2022 issued in this regard, the University on 29.10.2022, issued list of 60 shortlisted candidates on the basis of CLAT score of the year 2022 for admission for the course of BALLB in the academic year 2022-23. Subsequently, the University also released the waiting list of candidates.
On 08.11.2022, the academic calendar for the year 2022-23 was also published on the website and accordingly further schedule was released.
The respective deadlines for deposit of the fees was laid down. Accordingly, the petitioners as per their list and schedule, deposited the fees for their courses.
However, On 16.12.2022, the Director of Higher Education Department, Govt of Tripura sent a communication to the University raising the issue of state domicile quota in the admission process.
The University, in the situation where the admission process had been completed and where only where the classes were to start, vide notice dated 19.12.2022, arbitrarily cancelled the admission process initiated for the Academic session 2022-23 on the ground of want of state domicile quota pursuant to said communication dated 16.12.2022 of the department and thereby directed for refund of fees.
The Petitioners made representations to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura at Agartala who is also the Chancellor of the University, thereby protesting against the abrupt and arbitrary cancellation of the admission in the academic year 2022 - 23, however, the petitioners allege that no action has been taken so far.
The Advocate on Record for the Petitioners is Advocate Yadav Narender Singh.
Case Title: Somya Sanjay And Ors. versus National Law University Tripura Agartala And Ors. WP(C) No. 41/2023