Jharkhand High Court
Jharkhand High Court

Breaking: Jharkhand High Court dismisses challenge to NLSIU's move to conduct NLAT

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajesh Shankar held that the High Court does not have jurisdiction in the matter.

Aditya AK

The Jharkhand High Court today dismissed the petition filed against the move of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore to conduct the National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) for admissions to its academic courses this year.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajesh Shankar, which had reserved orders in the matter yesterday, held that the High Court does not have jurisdiction in the matter.

"Since the matter has pan-India ramifications, we deem it fit not to interfere with the notification dated September 3."

The order states,

"The examination of National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT) 2020 is scheduled to be held tomorrow i.e. on 12.09.2020 and the students from all over the country will appear in the said examination and thus the primary question before this court is as to whether in the present facts and situation, would it be appropriate for this court, keeping in view the future prospects of thousands of students, to pass any direction which may have ramifications all over the country."

Jharkhand High Court

The primary reason for the Court's decision not to intervene appears to be jurisdiction and litigation filed in other courts. Justice Shankar held,

"It is not justified for a High Court to pass any order which has pan India repercussions. The reason behind it is that when the same issue is raised in different High Courts, there might be a possibility of different views coming up which would create an impossible situation for the implementing agency to comply all the orders."

The Court also notes that the contentions of the petitioners appear to be based on the terms and conditions of the bylaws of the Consortium of National Law Universities. Given the fact the NLU Consortium is based in Bangalore, the Court held,

"In my view, it primarily seems to be an inter se dispute between CLAT consortium and NLSIU Bengaluru and this court has no territorial jurisdiction to adjudicate the same."

The petition prayed for quashing of the notification issued by NLSIU intimating its decision to hold the NLAT on September 12 for admissions to the University this year.

The contentions made by the petitioners include:

  • NLSIU's decision to declare a separate examination for admission to its 5-year BA LLB programme for 2020-21 is illegal and arbitrary;

  • NLSIU's September 3 notification issued to that effect is violative of clause 15.7 of the bye-laws of the Consortium of National Law Universities;

  • NLSIU's decision to hold a separate examination without withdrawing from the CLAT consortium is illegal, arbitrary and whimsical;

  • NLSIU's decision to hold a separate examination, while being a permanent member of the CLAT Consortium of National Law Universities is unlawful and arbitrary;

  • NLSIU's withdrawal from the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) violates the rights of the petitioners to have an examination in a just and fair manner;

  • NLSIU's decision to hold a separate entrance exam after aspirants filled the registration forms for CLAT is violative of the principle of promissory estoppel;

  • Declaration of a new date of examination and a new exam pattern by NLSIU around 10 days before the declared date of examination is illegal, arbitrary and whimsical

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya appeared for NLSIU, whereas Advocates Shubham Gautam and Baibhav Gahlaut appeared for the petitioner.

[Read the order]

Xenia Dhar v NLSIU.pdf
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