RAKESH KUMAR AGARWALLA AND ANOTHER Vs. NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL OF INDIA UNIVERSITY, BENGALURU
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla And Another
National Law School Of India University, Bengaluru
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ASHOK BHUSHAN, J. -
(1.)This writ petition filed in Public Interest under Article 32 of the Constitution of India questions admission notification dated 03.09.2020 issued by National Law School of India University, Bengaluru for conducting separate admission entrance examination, the National Law Aptitude Test(NLAT) scheduled for12.09.2020. The petitioner seeks a direction to National Law School of India University (hereinafter referred to as "NLSIU") to admit students only through Common Law Admission Test, 2020(CLAT) examination scheduled to take place on 28.09.2020. The writ petition is filed by two petitioners. First petitioner is the father of a student aspiring to gain admission into five years LL.B. programme of National Law University and the petitioner No.2 is the former Vice-Chancellor of National Law School of India University, Bengaluru.
(2.)We may notice certain background facts for considering the issues which have been raised in the writ petition. NLSIU, a premier Law University of the country, was established pursuant to a joint initiative of the Supreme Court of India, the Bar Council of India and the Karnataka Bar Council. Bar Council of India, set up a society, namely, National Law School of India Society as a registered society under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. On request made to Government of Karnataka for establishing the School as University by a Statute, the State Government established National School of India University, Bengaluru by National Law School of India Act, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act, 1986'). We shall notice the relevant provisions of the Act, 1986 a little later. The NLSIU was meant to be a premier School of Legal Education with five years undergraduate Law Course. Following the footsteps of NLSIU, National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) was established in Hyderabad in 1998 and the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (NUJS) was established in Kolkata in 1999 and National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU) was established by Act No.41 of 1997 by Madhya Pradesh Legislature. Over the course of time States enacted similar Statutes to create institutions for legal education which came to be known as National Law Universities across the country. All the National Law Universities have prescribed criteria for admission as well as syllabus structure. In the initial years all National Law Universities were conducting their own admission tests for admitting students in five years Law course. A writ petition being Writ Petition(C)No.68 of 2006 Varun Bhagat vs. Union of India came to be filed in this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution, impleading Union of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Ministry of Human Resource Development through its Secretary, Bar Council of India, NLSIU, Bangalore and five other National Law Universities. The writ petitioner prayed for a direction to the respondent to lay down the mechanism of centralised admission process to the various National Law Universities to facilitate the interests of the students. This Court issued notice in the writ petition. Learned Additional Solicitor General of India made a statement before this Court that Ministry of Human Resource Development in consultation with the various Law Universities and other concerned stakeholders, shall take steps to examine and evolve a scheme/policy in accordance with which a combined entrance examination could be conducted for premier National Law Universities. The Government of India convened various meetings with Directors/Vice-Chancellors and other educational functionaries. In the Writ Petition No.68 of 2006 counter-affidavit was filed on behalf of Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development where detailed steps taken by the Ministry of Human Resource Development were enumerated including details of various meetings which were held with Vice-Chancellors of Law Universities in the year 2006 between September, 2006 to December, 2006. In paragraph 10 of the counter-affidavit following was stated:
"10....It is expected that all the required informational notes shall be received during the course of February,2007 and further steps shall be timely taken in order to ensure that the process of holding a Combined Admission Test for the academic session 2008-2009 is put in place as expeditiously as possible."
(3.)The National Law Universities entered into a Memorandum of Understanding dated 27.11.2007 where the National Law Universities decided to hold a common admission test, namely, Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). Every University shall conduct the examination starting with the oldest University. When the Writ Petition No.68 of 2006 came for hearing on 25.07.2008, this Court noticed that prayers sought in the writ petition have already been accomplished, this Court passed following order:
"The prayers sought for in the writ petition have already been accomplished, so the writ petition is disposed of."
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