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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Have you heard about CLAT 2015?

Last evening’s episode of The Blacklist showed, among other things, a judge pursuing with commendable diligence the matter of delivering justice in a murder case. The person under suspicion is an FBI agent. Many agencies are interested in the case being hushed up and the agent not getting indicted in the murder case. The judge refuses to buckle under pressure but in the end has to give in and the case is completely swept under the carpet.

Something uncannily and eerily similar has happened to CLAT 2015. For thousands of students aspiring to be lawyers the Common Law Admission Test is the code they need to crack to get admission to the national law universities. Every year the test is conducted by one of the sixteen national law universities, in descending order of seniority. The university conducting the test becomes the CLAT body for the duration of the period covering the exam and admission process. This year the exam was conducted by the Ram Manohar National Law University, Lucknow. 

When the 40,000 students who had written the exam came out of their respective test centres at 5 pm on May 10 their faces were sombre. Most of them knew that something drastically wrong had happened. Within minutes there was an outpouring on social media about the number of errors, plagiarism and about some coaching centres in Lucknow being in the know about the paper. 

When, after a public outcry, the test papers were finally mailed to the students it became clear that the paper had about 35 errors. Questions were either wrongly /ambivalently framed or the answers to the questions were wrong. The VC of RMNLU Lucknow and the convenor of CLAT were questioned about the errors but refused to accept that the paper had errors. 

There was a flurry of activity and cases against CLAT were filed in the Allahabad High Court, the Rajasthan High Court, the Kerala High Court, the Mumbai High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In each case the honourable Judges took cognisance of the grievous harm done to the students, directed CLAT to constitute an expert panel to look into the matter of errors and ordered that the admission procedure be put on hold till the final verdict. CLAT however, being made of sterner stuff, steam rolled on and did everything it was not supposed to do. So, counselling rounds, merit list, up gradation of the list, final admission list and then the closure of the procedure all took place. 

Now for the interesting and  eerie part. What did the different High Courts do in the face of this clear violation of their directives and orders? Nothing .  

Tracking the Courts
 Allahabad High Court:Complete blackout after  May  25,2015. No closure report.
Punjab and Haryana High Court:on  July 14 the panel of experts  report was submitted by CLAT. The report said that the experts could spot no error. The hon’ble  Judge said that even he could  spot the obvious errors but no action taken.  Complete blackout after July 15,2015.
Bombay High Court: case filed on June 20. Hearings  held on June 25, 30 and once in July. The court had to look into experts panel report on July 14, 2015 but again a complete blackout and no final order passed.
Rajasthan High Court: case filed on June 10. After a couple of   hearings complete blackout in July
Kerala High Court ordered a stay in June on the admission process. Completely silent after CLAT went ahead with the admissions.

 In The Blacklist the judge gives in to the immense pressure but even in this process of submission he gives the case a closure. He leaves the people in the courtroom under no ambiguity about his displeasure at the order he is passing. Is it asking for too much when one wishes that a similar closure had been given to the cases filed against CLAT? If nothing was going to be done or said then why were the cases  filed? Why was the valuable time of the hon’ble judges wasted in a process that was as farcical as it was pointless?

And now the last question: is what happened in this case the norm for other cases too?  Immense pressure from certain quarters and then a deafening silence?
 Of course we will have no answers to any of the questions.


  1. Wonderful...........I am so glad that you have shared such an important and useful information with us
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    1. Hey- ain't you from the same institute- the one in the news for knowing the paper?

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