Delhi HC dismisses petition seeking home-based CLAT exam

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition seeking directions to conduct the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2020 as a home-based online test in view of the pandemic situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A single-judge bench comprising Justice Jayant Nath, while hearing the petition through video conferencing, noted that the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs asking people to stay at home are at best an advisory.

The petition has been file by V. Govind Ramanan, a CLAT applicant, seeking direction to quash the notification issued by the consortium regarding the CLAT 2020 examination, stating that the examinations being conducted on a centre basis will be in violation of his Right to Life and Right to Health as provided under Article 21 of the constitution.

The counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that movement of the people under the category at risks like the elderly, children, and others is being continued to be restricted by the government.

The counsel appearing for the Consortium of the National Law Universities contended that the home-based test for 78,000-plus students is not possible as it may compromise the test and may also be manipulated by the individuals appearing or the coaching centres.

The consortium further assured that the test would be conducted in the safest possible way and for the places with a restriction on movement, the admit card would be considered as a pass for the movement of the students.

The bench observed:

 “That apart, the problem of accessibility for 78,000 candidates to appropriate technology, internet connection, laptop or the desktop computer itself would be doubtful.”

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The bench dismissed the petition stating:

“It is clear that the pleas of the petitioner are misplaced and cannot be a ground for postponing the exams/change of mode to conduct the exam. I may also note that the petitioner has completed his LL.B. in 2016. It is now after a gap of 4 years that he seeks to apply for a post graduation in law. The petitioner has hence waited for four years to give the exam.”

-India Legal Bureau
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