A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah heard the arguments in the plea filed by Prof. (Dr) RV Rao, former VC of NLSIU and a law school aspirant, challenging the decision of NLSIU to withdraw from the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2020 and have its separate entrance test.
During the hearing Senior Advocate Arvind Datar appeared for NLSIU, Sajan Povayya appeared for the VC, and Senior Advocates PS Narsimha and Nikhil Nayyar appeared on behalf of the petitioners and intervenors.
Datar submitted that the Executive Council (EC) only needed the concurrence of the Academic Council to amend regulations of NLSIU. He added that the college conducts its own exam for M.Phil. For autonomy, it can conduct a separate exam.
“If, for some reason, they are unable to comply in light of extraordinary situations, I can conduct my own exam,” submitted Datar.
Senior Advocate PS Narsimha stated that the Consortium wrote a letter to respondent no. 2 and an offer was made to hold the exam under CLAT and requests were made for them to come back so that purpose of the Consortium could be fulfilled. The Question is of the very existence of this Consortium.
“Today one of the members say we are akin to a cooperative society or like the Karnataka club, can walk in and walk out. There is a public purpose each institution is serving. Must ensure that the institution remains. The question is if statutory powers permit this as and whether they are in conflict,” Narsimha submitted .
Senior Advocate Narsimha stated “the principles of fairness must be followed and integrity of the Consortium has to be upheld. Ensuring that NLUs will conduct the exams in a specific manner was the purpose of coming together. What will happen if medical institutions start doing that? It is not in a nature of club to walk in, walk out.”
He said “the public law duty imposes upon the University an obligation to ensure that the very object and purpose of the Consortium is upheld. They should come back and participate in the CLAT2020 exam.”
The apex court had on September 11, allowed NLSIU to go forward and conduct its entrance exam NLAT 2020 scheduled to be held the next day. The Bench had restricted the administration from declaring the results and has stated that the result will be subject to the Court’s order.
-India Legal Bureau
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