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There are three petitions before the Court challenging the NLSIU (Amendment) Act, 2020 which envisages 25% reservation for state domiciled students.
The Karnataka High Court today issued notice to all respondents in a batch of petitions challenging the 25% domicile reservation introduced this year at the National Law School of India (NLSIU), Bangalore.
Notice has been issued to the Centre, the state government, the Bar Council of India (BCI), and NLSIU by a Bench of by Justices BV Nagarathna and Ravi Hosmani.
When the matter came up for hearing today, Senior Advocate KG Raghavan argued that there should be certainty with respect to the domicile reservation. Before appearing for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), students must be certain as to whether or not there is a 25% reservation for students domiciled in Karnataka, he argued.
The Bench noted that the second set of pleadings had not been filed by the petitioners. Therefore, it went on to direct all parties to complete their pleadings by August 24, subsequent to which the matter will be heard.
Advocate Shridhar Prabhu, appearing for BCI, stated that he was challenging the Amendment Act as well as the 5% concession on the general merit cut-off score of CLAT 2020.
Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi informed the Court that as per the NLSIU (Amendment) Act, approximately 30 seats will be reserved for students domiciled in Karnataka, out of a total of 120 seats.
AG Navadgi further contended that academic matters should not be challenged in a hurried manner, as the future of the children is at stake.
"But, we are bound to respond to the challenge raised against the NLSIU (Amendment) Act, 2020", he added.
However, Raghavan was quick to respond, stating,
"I completely agree with my learned friend. This involves the future of the children, hence the issue has to be resolved quickly."
As of now, there are three petitions before the Court challenging the NLSIU (Amendment) Act, 2020 which envisages 25% reservation for state domiciled students.
The first plea had been moved by filed by 17-year-old student Balachandar Krishnan, a CLAT aspirant. The plea states that the Amendment Act will adversely affect the petitioner's opportunity to get a seat in NLSIU. Senior Advocate Raghavan along with Advocate Karan Joseph are appearing for the petitioner.
The second plea, being in the nature of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), had been moved by Advocate CK Nandakumar.
The BCI has filed the third petition in the matter. The plea states that the State of Karnataka went ahead and enacted the National Law School of India (Amendment) Act, 2020 on April 27, 2020 without prior consultation.
The BCI further argues that the NLSIU Amendment Act is a serious interference and an infringement of the statutory duties of the BCI, besides being unconstitutional, untenable, and illegal.
The matter will be next heard on August 24.