The first litigation on this year’s Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2017) has made its way to the Delhi High Court. This, after it came to light in recent weeks that the paper was filled with errors.
Devansh Saraswat, a student of Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) Gandhinagar, has filed a petition praying that this year’s CLAT be cancelled and rescheduled on another date. He has also sought an interim stay on the ongoing admission procedure for the exam.
The petition states that the organizing university of this year’s exam, Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) Patna, has violated the candidates’ rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. It is claimed that the authorities were negligent in not setting an error-free paper for the 45000-odd students who wrote the undergraduate exam, and that they failed to give reasons for its decisions. Hence, the petitioner claims, the principles of natural justice have been violated.
Apart from the re-exam, the petitioner has also prayed that a court-monitored investigation be launched into the “widespread anomalies” in the paper, so that the candidates’ grievances may be addressed. He has also prayed for the setting up of an expert committee to alter the way by which students have been awarded marks for the erroneous questions in the paper.
This is not the first time CLAT has been dragged to court over faulty question papers. After similar complaints were raised in the 2015 edition, the expert committee accepted only two errors in the paper. That resulted in petitions being filed in the High Courts of Bombay, Rajasthan, Kerala and Chhattisgarh, among others. After last year’s relatively non-controversial exam, it seems that the authorities are at it again.
And with another debacle on our hands, the case for having a permanent body to conduct the exam for entry into the most prestigious law schools in the country only grows stronger.