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The foundation stone has been laid for the country’s youngest National Law University at Uttarakhand. The state’s Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday oversaw the ceremony for NLU Uttarakhand at Ranipokhari, 50 km from Dehradun.
As per reports, the University will be set up at a cost of Rs 26 crore, and will span over 10 acres.
NLU Uttarakhand will be the country’s 23rd National Law University, adding to the 21 CLAT law schools and NLU Delhi.
In June last year, the Uttarakhand High Court had directed the state government to set up the NLU within three months. The order was passed in a batch of petitions filed back in 2014.
The University was expected to come up at Bhowali, Nainital in accordance with Section 3 of the NLU (Uttarakhand) Act, 2011. However, the authorities found that the area did not have adequate land for the establishment of the NLU. Initial efforts to shift the site to Pant Nagar of District Udham Singh Nagar did not meet with success, as submitted by the state.
While rendering the judgment, the Court also made note to express its concern over the delay in implementing the NLU of Uttarakhand Act, 2011. As observed in the order,
“The laudable object, to be achieved by the enactment, has not been achieved by the State functionaries…The students of the State of Uttarakhand are also to be imparted quality legal education. There is dearth/shortage of law universities. The purpose of establishment of the National Law University was to enhance the standard of legal education.”
And now, after a delay of more than 8 years, it looks like the state will have its own NLU. Although the High Court had directed that the NLU’s first academic session begin by September 2018, it remains unclear as to when the University will start operating.