12 Oct 2020 10:02 AM GMT
3 CLAT aspirants, who were not allowed to appear in CLAT 2020 for their being symptomatic of COVID-19, have moved the Supreme Court seeking directions for conducting a supplementary CLAT exam. The petition has been filed by SK. Wahida Shabnam, Munj Vipul Sudhir and Shivansh Tripathi, stating that the NLU Consortium had earlier permitted them to appear for the exam through isolation rooms...
3 CLAT aspirants, who were not allowed to appear in CLAT 2020 for their being symptomatic of COVID-19, have moved the Supreme Court seeking directions for conducting a supplementary CLAT exam.
The petition has been filed by SK. Wahida Shabnam, Munj Vipul Sudhir and Shivansh Tripathi, stating that the NLU Consortium had earlier permitted them to appear for the exam through isolation rooms at CLAT centers, vide notification dated September 23.
However, the Consortium changed its stance and totally excluded the COVID-19 suspected/ positive candidates from appearing in CLAT 2020.
This is alleged to be in total disregard to the SOPs issued earlier by Health Ministry whereby they had promised to allow even the COVID-19 symptomatic candidates.
The Petitioners have prayed that the Consortium be directed to conduct a supplementary CLAT 2020 exam for the Petitioners and other such COVID-19 symptomatic candidates. In the alternative it is prayed that the Consortium be directed to refund the application fees Rs. 4000/- to each of the Petitioners and pay a sum of Rs. 5,00,000/- to each of them towards damages for the loss of one year in career on account of negligence of the Respondents.
The Petitioners have relied upon the Statement of Procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, directing the mandatory preventive measures to be followed while conducting examinations to contain spread of COVID-19. They have further relied upon the assurances given by the Consortium of NLUs in the Admit Card for CLAT 2020 issued to the Petitioners as well as other candidates.
The SOP issued by the Health Ministry stated:
"The examination centre should have a designated isolation room for isolating any person who is found symptomatic at the time of screening of during examination, till such time medical advice be sought. A clear policy on allowing symptomatic candidates to undertake examination shall be delineated by the Examination Conducting Authorities in advance."
The Admit Card issued for CLAT 2020 stated:
"those candidates whose body temperature exceeds 99.14 F or show any COVID-19 symptoms will be allocated to an Isolation Lab within the Test Centre from where they may take the Test safely."
The Petitioners have also relied upon the order of the Supreme Court in Rakesh Kumar Aggarwalla & Anr. v. National Law School Of India University, Bengaluru & Ors., wherein the Consortium was directed to conduct the CLAT 2020 examination on 28 September 2020 taking all precautions and care for the health of the student after following the Statement of Procedure issued by the Health Ministry and Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
SC Allows a COVID-19 Infected CLAT Aspirant To Take Exam at an Isolation Centre [Read Order]
The Petition alleges that the act of Consortium of NLUs in not allowing the Petitioners to appear in the CLAT 2020 examination is arbitrary in nature and it clearly deprives the Petitioners of their fundamental right under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The said petition is filed by Advocate on Record Shagufa Salim, Advocate Sumit Chander and Advocate Vinay Kumar.