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Revise marks for 4,690 CLAT candidates, orders SC

Directs Centre to form a panel to probe lapses of the ‘body’ responsible for the technical glitches in the online exam

In a relief to students aggrieved by technical glitches in the conduct of online CLAT 2018 exam for admission to 19 prestigious national law varsities across the country, the Supreme Court ordered NUALS to revise the marks of 4,690 candidates and directed the Centre to form a committee to investigate the lapses and recommend penal action against the “body” responsible for the misconduct of the exam.

Not satisfied’

“We are not at all satisfied with the way the examination was conducted. The body which was given the task of conducting the examination was duty bound to ensure facilities of uninterrupted UPS and generator facility. The record indicates complete inadequacy on that point,” a Bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Deepak Gupta made scathing remarks in its 18-page order delivered on Wednesday.

The court directed the Ministry of Human Resource Development to appoint a committee “to look into the matter and take appropriate remedial measures, including penal action, if any, against the body which was entrusted with the task.”

The order, which was based on petitions filed by numerous students, further directed the Centre to task the committee to look into “completely satisfactory arrangements” so that no such lapses occur in future CLATs. The court said the practice of different law universities monitoring the conduct of CLAT every year needed to be “re-visited.”

The court said the fees charged from candidates were “far in excess.” The Bench directed the HRD Ministry panel to consider its inputs, consult with the Bar Council of India and prepare a detailed report for the court within three months.

Basic grievance

The court ruled out the idea of annulling CLAT 2018 and holding it afresh. It reasoned that the basic grievance raised by candidates pertained to loss of time and not the purity of the exams held on May 13.

“Any outright cancellation would visit tremendous inconvenience and hardship upon rest of the candidates,” the apex court observed. Over 54,000 students had attended the exam.

In a series of directions as suggested by senior advocate V. Giri and advocate Karthik Ashok, for NUALS Kochi, the court agreed to an exercise to revise the scores of 4,690 candidates using the court-approved “normalisation formula”. The exercise has to be completed by June 15. The revised scores would be published on June 16.

The students with the revised scores would be part of the second round of counselling in the rank/merit list for admissions.

The court did not want to disturb the first round of counselling, which had started from June 10.

The various problems highlighted by students regarding CLAT 2018 included questions not appearing on their screens, software crashes, incompetent invigilators who were unable to deal with the glitches.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 4:34:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/clat-2018-sc-refuses-to-interfere-with-first-round-of-counselling/article24150704.ece

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