A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said: “Heard counsel for the parties. Judgement reserved. Counsel for parties are permitted to file their written notes by tomorrow (Friday). List for judgement on September 21.”
Former NLSIU Vice Chancellor R. Venkata Rao and Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla, the parent of a varsity student, in their response, filed through advocate Vipin Nair, said: “It is also important to submit at the outset that both the Respondent No 1/NLS University and Respondent No 2/Vice Chancellor have never, at any point of time ever, intimated either the student community or the consortium that there was indeed a parallel move to have its independent separate examination, apart from CLAT.”
Senior advocates Arvind Datar and Sajan Povayya represented the university and the Vice Chancellor, respectively.
Datar contended before the bench that joining CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) did not mean that the university surrendered its autonomy.
He insisted that the NLSIU has not exited CLAT, and will go back to it next year. “This year, we decided to go separately to avoid a zero year,” he argued.
The bench queried why the length of the exam was reduced to 45 minutes from 2 hours, and students were told about this merely 10 days before the exam.
In its counter-affidavit, the university had said: “The academic year for the incoming batch of first-year students for the academic year 2020-21 will fall short of 285 days if the NLSIU does not complete admissions by September 18. Postponement of CLAT 2020 from September 7 to September 28 rendered completion of admissions to the NLSIU and commencement of term by September 18, impossible.”
The university contended that the implementation of NLAT 2020 is also permitted and in accordance with applicable law, and as per the NLSI Act, the Executive Council is the Chief Executive Body, and authorised the university to conduct its own admission process.
On September 11, the Supreme Court gave the NLSIU the green signal to conduct the NLAT 2020, but not to announce the results till the pendency of the plea.