When other Central universities rely on CUET scores, why not DU? asks Delhi High Court

On a petition challenging Delhi University’s decision to grant admissions to its newly introduced five-year integrated courses on the basis of Common Law Admission Test scores instead of Common University Entrance Test scores, the high court gives the university one week to reply.

TODAY, the Delhi High Court sought to know why the Delhi University (DU) is breaking ranks with other Central universities in terms of the score system for admissions.

This comes on the heels of the decision by the DU to rely on scores from the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) instead of those from the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admissions to its recently introduced five-year integrated law courses.

If 18 other Central universities are relying on the CUET scores for admissions, why is DU not doing the same?”, the high court wanted to know.

A division Bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula was in the process of hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Prince Singh, a student of the university, challenging a notification dated August 4.

The notification specifies that admissions to the five-year courses at the DU (BA LLB and BBA LLB) will be based on scores from the CLAT undergraduate 2023 results.

Noting that the Union government had taken a conscious decision to undertake admissions to Central universities only on the basis of the CUET scores, the Bench said that the DU was “not special”.

The faculty of law at the DU has traditionally only offered a three-year LLB course to students holding an undergraduate degree in any specialisation.

Admissions to the three-year course are granted through an entrance exam conducted by the university itself.

Singh’s petition states that the DU is a Central university and admissions to courses in other specialisations are granted on the basis of the CUET scores.

The petition alleges that the university imposed a “wholly unreasonable and arbitrary condition” in opting not to rely on the CUET scores for admissions.

It further alleges that the integrated law courses “lack any intelligible differentia” from other courses offered by the university.

Advocate Mohinder Rupal, appearing for the university, submitted that a “special committee” was constituted to consider the issue, which had recommended adopting scores from the CLAT for the grant of admissions.

Rupal further submitted that if the high court was to grant a stay on the August 4 notification, one whole academic year may be wasted.

It may be assumed that the above argument was submitted considering that if the high court imposes an interim stay till the final disposal of the petition, considerable time may elapse and the admission season may get over.

The August 4 notification also states that the Bar Council of India has accorded its approval to the introduction of 60 seats each for BA LLB and BBA LLB at the DU for the 2023–24 academic year.

Today, the Bench granted the university’s counsel a week’s time to seek instructions in the matter and file a counter affidavit before the next date of hearing on August 25.

It is made clear that in case no counter affidavit is filed before the next date of hearing, the matter will be heard on the question of grant of interim relief,” the Bench said.