Will there be another CLAT 2018 ?

Update on 27th May 2018 :

  • The cut-off for sending your representation / grievance by email to NUALS Kochi is 7.00 PM on the 27th of May 2018. Click here to read more :  How to draft the CLAT-2018 representation or grievance
  • The Supreme court has ordered all petitions in various High Courts to be paused pending the outcome of the hearings in the SC.
  • The Calcutta High Court has stayed the publishing of the CLAT 2018 ranking at least till the date of the next hearing on 25th May 2018
  • There is reference in various news articles about a similar petition filed in the Mumbai High Court
  • In a petition filed by Disha Panchal & Ors, represented by Salman Khurshid and Anand Shankar Jha, the Supreme Court has sought responses from the NUALS.
  • The petition by ABVP in the Delhi High Court has now been posted for hearing on the 30th May 2018
  • A new petition was filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court by Shri Salil Khare and his daughter Ms. Simran Khare on 22nd May, praying for the CLAT 2018 to be re-conducted
  • One more petition was filed in the Rajasthan High Court on the 21st May 2018, along similar lines as the other two petitions, by petitioner Aeshita Singh & others
  • In response to the second petition filed in the Rajasthan High Court, an interim order has been passed that the results of CLAT 2018, if published before the 29th of May 2018, will be subject to the outcome of the petition
  • The hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court was scheduled for 21st May 2018.  We shall update this page as soon as we have any additional information.
  • We are waiting for updates of the hearing in the previous writ-petition filed in the Rajasthan High Court which happened on the 18th May 2018
  • In a related development, a group of Nalsar Hyderabad and NUJS Kolkata alumnus sought to put together a group of interested candidates to challenge the CLAT 2018 in the Supreme Court
  • Final update : The exam was not re-conducted. The results were recalculated using a ‘compensatory formula’ to compensate for the lost time and revised results were released.

As reported across various websites and publications, there were a number of glitches in the conduct of the CLAT 2018 across several centers.

Some of the issues highlighted by candidates are:

  • Malfunctioning PCs and hardware problems
  • Testing interface issues – such as non-responsive buttons and not able to move to the next screen
  • Questions not getting displayed properly or dissapearing intermittently
  • Exam starting late in some centers due to various reasons
  • Discrepancies in the time allowed for completing the exam
  • Untrained and unhelpful invigilators
  • Power-cuts and interruptions
  • Lack of essential facilities such as toilets, drinking water

Several students apparently lost precious time while these issues were being sorted out.

In an exam where the difference of even 0.25 marks makes a world of difference, such issues cause a lot of anxiety among the test takers and can affect the overall performance.

As on 23nd May 2018, we are aware of at least Nine ongoing petitions seeking relief and/or a retest to be conducted for CLAT 2018.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

A new petition was filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court by Shri Salil Khare and his daughter Ms. Simran Khare, praying for the CLAT 2018 to be re-conducted.

Rajasthan High Court

In the first petition, Akshay Jain and Mansi Jain filed a plea citing various issues in the conduct of the exam and the matter was heard by the Rajasthan High Court on the 18th May 2018.

In the second petition filed by Manvee Bhandari from Jodhpur, the Honorable High Court passed an interim order on the 21st of May 2018, that the results of CLAT 2018, if published before the 29th of May 2018, will be subject to the outcome of the petition.

One more petition was filed in the Rajasthan High Court on the 21st May 2018, along similar lines as the other two petitions, by petitioner Aeshita Singh & others, the petition is similar to the other two in terms of the issues mentioned and the relief sought.

Punjab and Haryana High Court

Pranjal Goel, a candidate from Haryana has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, stating that he lost around 30 minutes from the exam due to various technical issues.

Here too, the relief sought is either a change in the evaluation criteria or that the entire CLAT 2018 be conducted again. The petition is due for hearing on the 21st May 2018.

Delhi High Court

The ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad) has approached the Court along with two petitioners, Vibhav Chandra and Mangesh Mani, seeking a stay on the declaration of the CLAT 2018 results, till the various issues are looked into.

The petition alleges that there were violations of fundamental rights of the candidates who are entitled to a fair examination and seeks an inquiry into the conduct of the examination.

The petition states  “The conduct of CLAT over the last several years has been continuously riddled with arbitrariness, opacity, and ineptitude, thereby affecting the education and career prospects of thousands of students, who participate in these exams every year.”

“More than sixty-thousand candidates took part in the said examination. The candidates faced multiple technical glitches at various test centres including but not limited to disruption in the examination and wrong seating arrangements, unfair time management, and obstruction while entering the centres.”

The respondents have been given time to file their responses and the next hearing is scheduled for the 30th of May 2018.

Calcutta High Court

In response to a petition filed by Ritankar Das on behalf of a group of students from Kolkata, the Court has ordered a stay on the publication of the results at least till the 25th of May 2018.

Supreme Court of India

In a petition filed by Disha Panchal & Ors, represented by Salman Khurshid and Anand Shankar Jha, the Supreme Court has sought responses from the NUALS. The Advocates also prayed for the various petitions in the High Courts to be combined.

An older petition dating back to 2015 is currently in progress with the Supreme Court, where the petitioner Shamnad Basheer has sought for the setting up of a permanent body for administering the CLAT exam every year, since the current model of conducting the exam on a rotational basis by the NLUs has left a lot to be desired.

While this petition is not specific to the CLAT 2018, the latest series of issues have also been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme court is hearing pleas on the 24th of May 2018.

Are there any precedents where the Courts have ordered a re-test?

In April 2018, the Kerala High Court on ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct a re-examination of the Class 10 mathematics paper for a girl student who complained of getting a two-year-old question paper.

In June 2015, the Supreme Court cancelled the AIPMT 2015 (All India Pre- Medical Test) due to an ‘Answer Key Leak’ and redirected the CBSE to conduct a retest in 4 weeks.

So if the Court finds merit in the petitions, it can order a retest to be conducted for specific students from any specific center or location; or direct the entire exam to be scrapped and reconducted.

What happens next?

With the Supreme Court hearing the case and the increasing number of petitions in various High Courts seeking similar or same relief in terms of the CLAT 2018 to be re-conducted, the future course of action will most probably be decided by the Supreme Court.

Since the Rajasthan High Court has clarified that results will be subject to the outcome of the petition(s), the results if published as per the original CLAT 2018 calendar, will not be ‘final’ till the various petitions have been decided.

Till then, the thousands of candidates who appeared for the CLAT 2018 will be waiting with bated breath for the suspense to unfold.

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