A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula was dealing with a plea filed by law student Prince Singh from the DU’s Law Faculty against DU’s newly-introduced five-year integrated law courses based entirely on Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2023 result, demanding the implementation of CUET scores for admission.
On August 17, the court had told the DU that when CUET score is being considered to grant admissions by other Central Universities, it is not ‘special’ to make admissions based entirely on CLAT 2023 result.
During the hearing, however, the University Grants Commission (UGC) took a different stand and submitted that it is mandatory for all the Central Universities to adhere to the CUET score for admission to UG or PG courses.
The court then granted a weeks’ time to the UGC as well as the Centre to file a detailed counter affidavit in the matter, and listed it for further consideration on September 12.
It also asked the DU to file a supplementary counter affidavit in case it wants to. The UGC has mandated CUET for Central universities’ undergraduate admissions, while DU has chosen to use CLAT scores for its law courses.
The bench had earlier orally said: “Under the National Education Policy, once the decision is taken by the Government of India, Ministry of Education that admissions are to be done in Central Universities only on the basis of CUET, then you are not special.”
The court had granted time to the DU to file the counter affidavit in the matter, and also asked the Centre to file its reply or seek appropriate instructions in the matter. It had made it clear that if no counter-affidavit is filed by the next date of hearing, the matter will be heard finally on interim relief.
The DU’s counsel had submitted that till the next date of hearing, the university will not release any advertisement inviting applications for admissions in the five-year law courses.
The PIL argues that this creates a separate category of students eligible for admission. Additionally, CUET’s inclusivity in terms of languages is highlighted, as opposed to CLAT’s English-only format. The plea states that the CLAT exam has been conducted in English medium since its inception. However, the CUET (UG) exam is being conducted in 13 languages — English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
“It is worth noting here that the CUET is more inclusive, more diverse and in tune with the mandate of the National Educational Policy. It is not out of the place to mention here that the Respondent No. 1 uses two languages, i.e., English and Hindi in its teachings and semester exams,” the plea says.
The introduction of these law courses at DU had been in demand for a long, with the Bar Council of India (BCI) granting approval for 60 seats each in the BA.LL.B. (Hons) and BBA.LL.B. (Hons.) programmes.
The university has said that sessions for both courses are scheduled at the Faculty of Law, Kanad Bhawan, in the North Campus.