The Delhi High Court on Thursday questioned the Delhi University's decision to admit students to the five-year integrated law course solely on the basis of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT-UG), 2023.
The high court said when other central universities were taking admissions for the course on the basis of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) UG 2023 introduced by the Ministry of Education (MoE), Delhi University was “not special”.
“Under the National Education Policy, once the decision is taken by the Government of India, Ministry of Education that admissions are to be done in central universities only on the basis of CUET, then you are not special. Very sorry,” a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said.
The high court was hearing a petition challenging the decision of DU to grant admissions to the five-year integrated law course solely on the basis of CLAT-UG, 2023.
The bench granted time to the counsel for DU to seek further instructions in the matter and file its counter affidavit in response to the petition before the next date of hearing on August 25.
“It is made clear that in case no counter affidavit is filed before the next date of hearing, the matter will be heard on the question of grant of interim relief,” the bench said.
It also granted time to the counsel for Centre to file its reply to the plea and seek instructions in the matter.
During the hearing, the counsel for DU submitted that the varsity has started the five-year integrated law course this year only and if a stay is granted on the operation of the August 4 notification, the whole academic year will be wasted.
He said no admission is being taking place as of now and only the notification has been issued and sought time to file a reply to the petition.
The DU’s counsel stated that “the university will not issue any advertisement inviting applications for the five-year law course based on CLAT till the next date of hearing.” The petition sought that the admissions to the five-year integrated law course be done through the CUET-UG, 2023.
It said CUET-UG 2023 was introduced by the MoE for admission to all undergraduate programmes in central universities for the academic session 2023-24.
Petitioner Prince Singh, a law student at Campus Law Centre in Delhi University, claimed that the university, while issuing the impugned notification, has imposed a “wholly unreasonable and arbitrary condition” that the admission to five-year integrated law course shall be solely based upon merit in the CLAT- UG 2023 result, which is violative of the right to equality under Article 14 and right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The plea said the condition lacks any intelligible differentia and has no rational nexus with the object of admission to the five-year integrated law course at the Faculty of Law.
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