File photo of Delhi University | (Pic: PTI)
File photo of Delhi University | (Pic: PTI)

Delhi HC questions DU on conducting Law admissions via CLAT instead of CUET

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula presided over the hearing

The Delhi High Court, on Thursday, August 17, questioned Delhi University (DU) over its decision to admit students to its five-year integrated law courses based on the result of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) UG (undergraduate) 2023 instead of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) UG 2023.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said that admissions are to be done in central universities only on the basis of CUET, as decided by the Ministry of Education (MoE), under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. "You are not special... There is a national policy. If 18 other central universities are relying on the CUET scores for admissions, why is DU not doing the same?" the bench remarked, according to a report by The New Indian Express.

The high court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the decision of DU to offer admissions to the five-year integrated law course solely on the basis of CLAT UG 2023 results. The petition sought that admissions be done through CUET UG, explaining that the exam was introduced by the MoE for admission to all UG programmes in central universities.

Petitioner Prince Singh, a law student at Campus Law Centre in DU, 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 courses shall be solely based upon the CLAT UG 2023 results, which is violative of the Rights to Equality and Education under Articles 14 and  21 respectively of the Constitution.

During the hearing, the counsel for DU submitted that the varsity had introduced the five-year integrated law course this year and if a stay is granted on the operation of the August 4 notification, the whole academic year would be wasted. He added that no admission was being done at present, and only the notification had been issued. 

The counsel sought time to file a reply to the petition. "The university will not issue any advertisement inviting applications for the five-year law course based on CLAT till the next date of hearing," he said.

The bench granted time for DU to file its reply and seek instructions on the matter. "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, as per TNIE.

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