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In response to the petitioner's assertion that CLAT 2020 falls foul of the Unlock-3 guidelines issued by the Central government, the Consortium has said that the guidelines are no longer in force.
The Consortium of National Law Universities has informed the Delhi High Court that this year's Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2020) cannot be a home-based online test (V Govinda Ramanan v. Consortium of National Law Universities).
Stating that as many as 78,000 students are expected to sit for CLAT 2020, scheduled to be held for September 28, the Consortium has asserted,
“...online test at home with technological measures cannot ensure transparency, fairness and integrity if a high stakes examination process such as CLAT."
Raising concerns on equitable access to resources, the Consortium has added,
These averments form part of the Consortium's reply to a petition seeking the conduct of CLAT 2020 as a home-based online examination on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition has been preferred by one V Govinda Ramanan.
At the very outset, the Consortium informed the High Court that several centre-based examinations are being conducted for different professional courses and the issue has even been examined by the Supreme Court.
Specifically, a challenge to the Consortium's decision to conduct CLAT 2020 via online mode at physical test centres was heard and dismissed by the Supreme Court on July 29, it submitted.
In response to the petitioner's assertion that CLAT 2020 falls foul of the Unlock-3 guidelines issued by the Central government, the Consortium has said that the guidelines are no longer are in force.
The Court’s attention is also drawn to an order issued by the Centre permitting the conduct of entrance examinations at physical test centres, subject to the compliance with the Standard Operating Procedure on social distancing and public health safety.
Detailed preventive measures deployed for the conduct of CLAT 2020 have already been intimated to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, the Consortium has said.
The Consortium has assured that the situation was being monitored and that it is in constant touch with the authorities to ensure that CLAT 2020 is conducted in the safest manner possible. It is also assured that none of the test centres will be in containment zones.
It was further argued that the Delhi High Court has no territorial jurisdiction to hear the petition when the Consortium is based out of Bangalore, Karnataka.
The case is likely to be taken up for final arguments tomorrow.