New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) The National Law School of India University, Bengaluru has informed the Supreme Court that the decision to implement NLAT 2020 is entirely justified and in the public interest, as it is the only way to avoid a 'Zero Year', where students will lose the opportunity to join it in the current academic year.
In a counter-affidavit, the university 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 NLSIU does not complete admissions by September 18... postponement of CLAT 2020 from September 7 to September 28 rendered completion of admissions to 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 of NLSIU, which authorised the university to conduct its own admission process.
"Further, the Memorandum of Association and Bye-Laws of the Consortium of National Law Schools, which conducts the CLAT exam, do not prohibit a member from conducting its own admissions test to determine admissions, especially when CLAT is not held by the Consortium," said the university's affidavit.
Former NLSIU VC R. Venkata Rao and Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla, the parent of a student of the university, 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."
They also argued that the university has faced widespread backlash from renowned academics, students, lawyers, and across the media for its exclusionary and onerous technical requirements to conduct the exam.
On September 11, the Supreme Court gave the green signal to NLSIU, Bengaluru, to conduct separate exam -- NLAT-2020 -- scheduled on Saturday, but asked it not to announce the results till the pendency of the plea.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah sought response from the university and its Vice-Chancellor Sudhir Krishnaswamy within three days.
The top court will hear the matter on Wednesday.