Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: A Division Bench of S. Panda and S. K. Panigrahi JJ., dismissed the petition and called upon the relevant legal stakeholders to ensure that a uniform and well-defined parameter is adopted so that the meritorious candidates do not suffer.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner has challenged the inaction of opposite party 1 in not considering the application of the petitioner for admission into 5 years BBA LLB (Hons.) Course under NRIs (Non-Resident Indian Sponsored) category for the academic year commencing 2020.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that when she applied for CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) examination and wanted to apply through NRI quota but selected GENERAL CATEGORY for the same, however, due to COVID outbreak she wasn’t able to modify the quota due to technical glitch on the last date i.e. 15-08-2020. It was further submitted that the petitioner’s name was not found in the merit list where the candidates with a lower rank than that of the petitioner were in the merit list as against NRI/NRIs category.

Counsel for the respondents submitted the petitioner herein has not applied under NRI/NRIs category for the CLAT 2020 Application in spite of several extensions granted to the students by the CLAT Consortium. It was further submitted that there is always the possibility of server down, internet glitch etc. and therefore, it has been advised by the CLAT conducting authority that candidates must apply well before the last date because there tends to be a heavy rush on the use of internet on the last date.

The Court observed that The Opposite Party 1 is bound by the CLAT Rules and Notification. If the petitioner fails to figure in the CLAT 2020 NRI/NRIs category, the Opposite Party 1 cannot change the category of the candidate. Since the petitioner has not applied under NRI/NRIs category in the CLAT 2020 Application, due to the said fact the OP 1 had to reject the candidate’s application.

Court held that changing the category, at this juncture when the admissions are over, would disturb the entire process and jeopardize the interest of so many students.

The Court before disposing off the petition relied on the judgment P. A. Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra, (2005) 6 SCC 537 and observed:

“NRIs category is an affront to the meritorious candidates who toiled day night to secure seats in NLUs through CLAT. The candidates belonging to the category of NRI/NRIs, who are very low ranked in the merit list often gets seat in the NLUs whereas the general candidates having secured better marks also lag behind the NRIS students and get disappointed. This is like the reservation for the elite class and this dubious category of quota is unconstitutional.”[Ishika Pattnaik v. National Law University of Odisha,  2020 SCC OnLine Ori 762, decided on 20-10-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Hot Off The PressNews

The General Body of the Consortium of National Law Universities has set a new date for the CLAT UG and PG exam, it will be held on 7th September, 2020. The exam will be held between 2pm and 4pm and will be an online, centre-based test.

Admit cards will be available for download from the official website in two weeks’ time. No candidate will be allowed to enter the centre without a mask. The consortium is in the process of securing permissions so that admit cards are treated as movement passes by local authorities. Further instructions shall be issued in due course by the consortium.

Read the Official Notification here

Hot Off The PressNews

The Executive Committee of Consortium of NLUs met on 11th December, 2019 to discuss the modalities that were initiated in the previous meeting in planning for CLAT 2020. The following issues were approved:

  • Application forms for CLAT 2020 will be available from 1 January, 2020. Forms can be submitted from 1 January to 31 March, 2020.
  • The date of exam will be 10 May, 2020. The answer key to the test will be uploaded on the Consortium of NLUs website (official website) on the next day, e. 11 May, 2020.
  • Objections to the answers given in the official answer key will be entertained between 12 -15 May, 2020 and the final answer key will be published by 18 May, 2020.
  • The final results will be declared by 24 May, 2020.

The pattern for the CLAT UG exam has been declared as follows:

  • The format of the paper will be “Comprehension based test”.
  • The paper will be set as per the standard of Class 12 students.
  • Quantitative analysis to be based on Class 10 level maths
  • Total of 150 questions will be there and paper will be objective.
  • The 5 areas on which students will be tested are: (i)English language, (ii) Current Affairs including General Knowledge, (iii) Legal Reasoning, (iv) Logical Reasoning and (v) Quantitative Techniques
  • There shall be negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong for both UG and PG exam.
  • Module-wise model question papers with their analysis shall be made available on the official website. Students who enroll for CLAT 2020 will be able to access such papers on the official website.

The pattern of CLAT PG exam has been declared as follows:

  • Candidates who secure 40% marks in the objective paper (35% for SC, ST and PWD) will qualify for evaluation of their descriptive answers.
  • There will be 100 objective type questions.
Hot Off The PressNews

The Consortium of National Law Universities held a meeting on November 21st, 2019 and have made significant changes to the pattern of the CLAT exam. Here are the main highlights of their press release for the undergraduate CLAT exam:

  • The date of CLAT 2020 has been set as May 10th.
  • The length of the CLAT UG paper will be 2 hours and the exam will be conducted offline.
  • The number of questions will be reduced from 200 to 120-150. This has been done to reduce the mental stress on the students.
  • From 2020, CLAT UG paper will test students via ‘comprehension based questions’ on Quantitative Techniques, English, Current Affairs, Deductive Reasoning and Logical Reasoning
  • As per Prof Faizan Mustafa, who is quoted in the press release, the focus is on getting better students who have competence in reading texts and those who demonstrate skills in inferential reasoning.


  • There will be ‘comprehension type questions’ and descriptive question pattern will remain the same as last year
  • Executive Council of 2020 will decide whether there will be cut off marks for LLM paper.

Other decisions

The Consortium of National Law Universities also held discussions on undertaking Faculty Development Programmes and launching scholarships and fee concessions for students of NLUs. Upgradation of libraries, IT facilities and infrastructure were also discussed.

Change in office bearer positions

There were also changes in the position of office bearers. Prof Faizan Mustafa stepped down as President and Prof V. Vijayakumar of NLIU, Bhopal was elected in his place. Prof Paramjit S Jaswal, Vice-Chancellor of RGNUL, Punjab was elected as the Vice-President. Prof. Balraj Chouhan, Vice-Chancellor, Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur was elected as CLAT–2020 Convenor and Prof Srikrishna Deva Rao, Vice-Chancellor of NLU Odisha, was elected as a Member of the Executive Council for CLAT, 2020. Prof V Kesava Rao, Vice-Chancellor of NUSRL, Ranchi, would be attending the meetings of the Executive Council as Special Invitee for the purposes of the conduct of CLAT 2020.