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SC refuses to interfere with CLAT-2018 counselling

New Delhi, June 11: 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.

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. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita