A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Delhi High Court challenging mandatory appearance in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) as a prequisite to apply for selection as an officer in the Indian Army's Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch..A Bench of Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna granted counsel for the Central government time to seek instructions and listed the matter for hearing on November 28..The plea by Advocate Shubham Chopra has specifically challenged the notification for induction of army officers through the 33rd course of the JAG entry scheme as being arbitrary, unjustified, unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 16, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.The notification, which was published in 2023, retrospectively mandates appearance in the CLAT postgraduate examination, which was notified and wrapped up by December 2022.Pertinently, in December 2021, the Indian Army had notified that CLAT PG score of the preceding year will be mandatory to apply for the 30th and subsequent courses..The plea argues that mandating CLAT appearance as qualification for JAG in unreasonable. It highlights that the notification itself says that the marks obtained in the test will have no role to play in the selection procedure. The PIL has also challenged the criteria that applicants have to be unmarried, as well as the requirement of not having been arrested in any matter. Notably, the Delhi High Court is already hearing the challenge to the former criteria.It further challenged the provision barring the candidates on the ground of mere arrest in the past. "It is quite unfortunate and shameful on the part of the Respondent that on mere arrest of an individual at the time of the investigation, he has been characterized as a convict despite not being proven to be guilty for an offence. Furthermore, this not only violates the fundamental protection guaranteed to the citizen(s) under Article 21 of the Constitution of India but also threatens the primary principles of innocence laid down under the criminal jurisprudence.".A similar PIL filed before the Karnataka High Court in September 2022 was withdrawn two months later in December.A Bench of Chief Justice PB Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi had observed that the Court could not sit in appeal over the selecting agency's decision..In December 2022, a Division Bench of then Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad had remarked that the policy "does not make any sense" and had asked the Central government to show how the marital status of a person and the training for the JAG department have any correlation.In March this year, the government stated in response that the bar was a reasonable restriction placed in public interest and national security.In an affidavit, the government had said that the condition of being unmarried for both male and female candidates between age 21-27 years is restricted only for the period of recruitment and pre-commissioned training, which is necessary because it involves high amount of physical and mental stress, strain and rigours..Advocate Prashant Vaxish appeared for the petitioner.