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SC refuses to interfere with CLAT-2018 counselling

IANS, New Delhi| Published : 12th June 2018

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the first round of CLAT-2018 counselling for admissions to 19 national law universities and colleges, and asked the grievance redressal committee (GRC) to go through the complaints of time lost due to technical glitches by Friday.

The first round of counselling that commenced on June 10 will be over by Friday. The Human Resource Development Ministry, represented by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh too had favoured putting on hold the counselling till Friday (June 15) - the deadline for GRC to complete its task.

Also ruling out the plea for the scrapping of the CLAT-2018 and its re-conduct, a vacation bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the GRC to complete the exercise of looking into 400 complaints and deciding, based on normalisation formula linked to time lost due to technical glitches, the compensation of marks.

Headed by former Kerala High Court Judge M.R. Hariharan Nair and comprising Professor Santosh Kumar, the GRC, set up by the court on May 25 to look into complaints, has to complete the task by June 15 - the time sought by senior counsel V. Giri appearing for the Kochi-based National University of Advance Legal Studies which had conducted CLAT-2018 and the CLAT admission committee.

The court also directed the preparation of revised merit list that would beg the basis of second round of counselling commencing from June 16.

As one of the petitioner referred to an earlier order by which conduct of medical CET was scrapped, Justice Lalit said that in the medical exam's case it was the "purity of the exam" that was in question, but here, there is no deliberate or malafide involved but the system that was put in place for the conduct of exam did not work.

While the court disposed of the batch of petitions by the aggrieved students seeking CLAT-2018's scrapping, the formal order will come on Wednesday.

Addressing the court on the formula being used to work out compensation, Giri said that based on the number of questions attempted by an aggrieved examinee in the allocated time of 120 minutes, it is calculated how many questions such an examinee would have attempted in the time lost due to glitches.

It is also seen how many of the attempted questions were answered correctly. The ratio of correctly answered and wrongly answered questions, on pro rata basis, is applied to the number of questions granted for the time lost and the final result is calculated.

Meanwhile, the court also made it clear that if one of the aggrieved candidates based on the existing merit list takes admission in a particular law college but later on scrutiny of his complaint by GRC if he gets more marks entitling him admission to a better law university, then he would not lose his fee deposited with the initial college.

However, the court did not favour Giri's suggestion for creation of supernumerary seats in the colleges to accommodate students who get elevated in the merit list to a position that is already occupied by an existing candidate.

The government too opposed the suggestion by Giri saying it would compromise the standards of education.

The online CLAT-2018 exam was held on May 13 in which more than 54,464 candidates appeared aspiring for admission to 19 law universities and colleges. There were reports that at some of the centres, the examinees suffered technical glitches adversely impacting their exam.


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