Published: 28th September 2020
Hours before CLAT, SC allows suspected COVID positive aspirant to take exam in isolation
The student has contended that although as per the admit card issued to him, COVID-19 symptomatic candidates will be allocated to isolated room, instructions have been issued by the Consortium of NLUs
Hours before the scheduled start of Common Law Admission Test (CLAT)-2020 the Supreme Court on Monday allowed a suspected COVID-19 positive aspirant to take the entrance test in a separate isolation room. CLAT-2020 exam, an entrance test for the 22 National Law Universities (NLUs) for admission to LLB, LLB 5 year Integrated and LLM, courses is scheduled to start at 2 PM today.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, "In the facts of the present case, we are of the view that the student Deepansh Tripathi should be permitted to take his CLAT examination on September 28, 2020 in a separate isolation room to be provided by his Centre Superintendent." The bench also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said that the student shall ensure that a downloaded copy of this order should be presented before his Centre Superintendent as early as possible by any other non-symptomatic person.
"On such order being produced, the Centre Superintendent shall provide a separate room for applicant to appear in the examination. Applicant shall enter into the centre after other candidates take entry and shall first leave the examination centre," it said. The top court said the Centre Superintendent may also request the Chief Medical officer of the District or Superintendent, Government Hospital to provide medical staff to render necessary assistance.
The student has contended that although as per the admit card issued to him, COVID-19 symptomatic candidates will be allocated to isolated room, instructions have been issued by the Consortium of NLUs that candidates who have been tested positive and are under medical surveillance or in isolation will not be permitted to take the CLAT, 2020 examination. The bench recorded that the student has already received admit card showing his centre as ION Digital Zone IDZ Chitoura Road, Bhartiya Vidya Mandhir Shiksha Samitiat Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
In his intervention application filed by the student, he said that he is aspiring to clear the CLAT exam and is holding a valid Admit card for the CLAT Exam. However, he is presently in isolation due to his being suspected of being COVID Positive. "He is otherwise fine and is fully ready and prepared to give the CLAT-2020 examination scheduled to take place on September 28", he has said in his application.
On September 21, the top court had directed that for conduct of CLAT-2020 examination on September 28, taking all precautions and care for health of the students after following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The plea of Tripathi had sought clarification of the September 21 judgement on CLAT and order to the Consortium with regard to denial to appear in entrance examination to aspirants suffering from Covid-19 by not providing isolation rooms at the exam centres. As per the latest order of the CLAT Consortium, the candidates who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are under medical surveillance will not be permitted to take the CLAT 2020 examination scheduled to be held on 28 September 2020.
The student in his application said, "The sudden change in the stand of the Consortium of National Law Universities has deprived the applicant of his fundamental right under Article 14 of the Constitution of India to be treated as an equal and be given opportunity to appear in the examination on September 28, 2020 which otherwise he was well entitled to like any other student.