Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench B.V. Nagarathna and Ravi V. Hosmani, JJ., while allowing the petition filed by an aspirant for a seat at NLSIU through the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), strikes down the recent reservation policy proposed for the Karnataka students.
In an unprecedented move, the State Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, in March, passed the NLSIU (Amendment) Act, 2020 to confer a 25% horizontal reservation to those who studied for a minimum of 10 years in Karnataka. It was the government’s claim that the State was missing out on their natives while taking admissions to the prestigious Institution. It further said that graduates from NLSIU, most certainly, do not opt to practice in Karnataka given to the limitation of language, resulting in an ultimate loss of the State. Advocate general Prabhuling K Navadgi claimed that during the past decade, only 33 out of the 800 graduates from the university had joined the Karnataka Bar. Subsequently, a batch of the writ petition was filed by law students and aspirants against the said amendment.
While striking down the reservation policy proposed by the State Government, the Court observed that although the role of government cannot be overlooked in the establishment of NLSIU, the institution is essentially autonomous in terms of its decision making and regulation. Moreover, the Court held that the amendment was contrary to the objective stated under the National Law School of India Act, 1986, where the government assumes no right to interfere in the administration, functions, control, curriculum, and academic matters of NLSIU.