SC refuses to stay CLAT 2018 counselling process

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today refused to stay the counselling process for admissions in 19 prestigious national law colleges across the country following the declaration of results of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2018.

However, a vacation bench, comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan, clarified that any further steps in the matter would be subject to further orders of the apex court.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on June 11.

The report of the Grievance Redressal Committee, set up by National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), Kochi, to look into several complaints of aspirants about technical glitches during the exam held on May 13, was placed before the court.

“In the meanwhile, the registry may furnish copies of the report of the Grievance Redressal Committee, appointed vide order dated May 25, to the counsel appearing for the parties. It is made clear that any further steps in the matter will be subject to further orders,” the bench said.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for some of the petitioners urged the bench that the counselling process should be stayed as the court would hear the matter on June 11.

“We cannot stop it,” the bench said. The court had earlier cleared the decks for the declaration of results of the CLAT 2018 on May 31.

Some of the petitioners had sought a stay on declaration of results contending that there were glitches during the CLAT 2018 held on May 13 causing loss of crucial time, thus violating their fundamental right to equality.

The top court had also asked the Grievance Redressal Committee to submit its report on June 6 after taking note of complaints of aspirants who have alleged technical and other glitches during the May 13 test.

NUALS, which conducted CLAT with the aid of private firm M/s Sify Technologies Ltd, for admissions in undergraduate and postgraduate law programmes at premier law schools, had constituted a two-member panel to look into the complaints following the apex court’s direction.

Former Kerala High Court judge Justice M R Hariharan Nair and Dr Santhosh Kumar G, Head of Computer Science Department of Cochin University, were part of the committee.

Around 54,000 candidates had undertaken the CLAT 2018 for admissions in 19 national law colleges in the country.

Soon after the exam, several pleas were filed in six different high courts across the country and also in the apex court seeking quashing of CLAT alleging inconsistencies and technical glitches during the May 13 online test.

The high courts of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bombay, Punjab and Haryana, and Rajasthan, both the Jaipur and Jodhpur benches, were hearing the pleas challenging the CLAT 2018 examination and notices have been issued in some of these matters.

The apex court had on May 25 said that the candidates who had appeared in the CLAT 2018 and complained of glitches, could make online representations to the two-member grievance redressal committee.

The pleas filed in the apex court have alleged that the candidates faced several technical glitches during online test, besides poor infrastructure at examination centres, and lack of proper guidance from staffers. (AGENCIES)