The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of a consortium of National Law Universities, the Bar Council of India and the Center on a plea seeking to conduct the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2024 not only in English but also in other regional languages. A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramaniam Prasad issued notice to the Center through the Association of National Law Universities, the Bar Council of India and the Ministry of Education on the plea and asked them to file their reply within four weeks.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on May 18. The PIL filed by Sudhanshu Pathak, a Delhi University law student, argued that the CLAT (UG) exam “discriminates” and fails to provide a “level playing field”. Students whose educational background lies in regional languages.
“In an ultra-competitive paper, they are linguistically handicapped because they have to overcome the additional hurdle of learning and mastering a new language. Naturally, candidates belonging to English-medium schools have an advantage as compared to their peers belonging to schools run in Hindi or other local languages. Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, advocates Akash Bajpai and Sakshi Raghav, representing the petitioner, submitted that underprivileged and disabled candidates cannot view an examination based entirely in English as ‘obvious’ unlike their privileged, English-speaking competitors Are.
The petition states that the New Education Policy, 2020 and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 require mother tongue to be the medium of instruction in schools and higher education institutions and it is unfortunate that the only medium of CLAT is English- ( UG) depriving a large section of students, who have studied in their regional or native languages, to opt for law (five year LLB) as a course of study. CLAT-2024 is scheduled to be held in December 2023.
“Through this petition, the petitioner seeks an appropriate writ or direction to be issued to respondent No.1 (Association of National Law Universities) to conduct CLAT-2024 not only in English language but also in all other regional languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution The practice of taking CLAT (UG) only in English has an element of arbitrariness and discrimination and is, therefore, violative of Articles 14 and 29(2) of the Constitution.
Citing a recent survey conducted by IDIA Trust (Enhancing Diversity by Enhancing Access to Legal Education), it shows that more than 95 per cent of all surveyed students came from schools where the medium of instruction was secondary and higher education. Secondary was English at both levels. ,
“This figure is more or less in line with the results of the 2013-14 survey, in which 96.77 per cent of the students surveyed came from an English medium background, indicating that English language proficiency continues to be a major factor in gaining admission to a happened. Top NLU in the country,” it said.
(This report has been published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. No edits have been made to the copy by ABP Live except for the headline.)
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