On August 17, Delhi University conveyed to the Delhi High Court that it would suspend the acceptance of applications for its recently introduced 5-year integrated law programs. This decision was made in light of the ongoing challenge to the consideration of Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2023 scores for admission to these courses. The two 5-year law programs affected are Bachelor of Arts – Bachelor of Legislative Law (BA LLB) (Honours) and Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws (BBA LLB) (Honours).
A bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula remarked, “You are not special.” The bench emphasized the existence of a national policy and questioned why Delhi University wasn’t following suit with 18 other central universities that were relying on Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUET) scores for admissions.
The court granted the lawyers representing the Central Government additional time to gather instructions and formulate a response for the case. The next hearing is scheduled for Friday, August 25. In the absence of a filed response by that date, the court will address the matter in terms of interim relief.
The university’s counsel informed the court, in response to the bench’s inquiries regarding the reliance on CLAT scores over Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores, that no admissions would take place until the case was resolved.
Prince Singh, a law student at Delhi University, reportedly lodged a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting the university’s adoption of CUET scores for admissions. The petition highlights that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has mandated that all central universities must conclude their undergraduate admission processes following CUET guidelines. While CUET is the norm for various courses, Delhi University’s 5-year law programs continue to rely on CLAT scores for entry.
The petition asserts that this practice creates a distinct subset of students eligible for admission to the Faculty of Law’s 5-year courses. Notably, the petition points out that while CUET is offered in multiple languages, CLAT is exclusively conducted in English. It goes on to state, “That the CLAT exam is being conducted in English medium since its inception. However, the CUET (UG) exam is being conducted in 13 languages… It is worth noting here that the CUET is more inclusive and in tune with the National Educational Policy’s mandate.”
In contrast, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has sanctioned a total of 120 seats for these programs. Out of these, 60 seats are allocated for BA LLB (Honours) candidates, while the remaining 60 are designated for BBA LLB (Honours) aspirants.