HC directs PU to reconsider decision to scrap UG law entrance exam for 5-year course

The counsel for PU, Arun Bakshi, meanwhile confirmed to the bench that the university will in fact hold the entrance exam for the three-year law course.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday, while disposing of a petition by LLB aspirants, directed the Panjab University, Chandigarh to re-consider its decision to scrap the UGLAW entrance examination for its five-year law course, as expressed in circular of August 11, 2020.

A division bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan, further directed PU to take a fresh decision in that regard not later than September 15, keeping in view the observations of the court and the grounds raised in the petitions.

The HC bench also ruled that the decision of the PU will be uploaded on the website of the university immediately after it is taken, and till such time, the university will not proceed with admissions to the BA/B Com LLB (Hons) five-year integrated law course on the basis of the circular dated August 11 as well as guidelines uploaded on the website of the University on August 25.

The petitioners (students) who have applied for the course, argued through their counsel, Advocate Deepak Vashishst and Advocate Vikas Chatrath, that the excuse of Covid-19 for scrapping the entrance test is not valid when in fact the university is holding entrance exams for other courses including the three-year law course for the same academic session. It was further argued that that marks of class 12 as a sole criterion for determining the suitability of a candidate for admission to the five-year law course will neither be reasonable or reliable.

The counsel for PU, Arun Bakshi, meanwhile confirmed to the bench that the university will in fact hold the entrance exam for the three-year law course. He contended that the final year examination for some graduate courses like BA have not yet been conducted, the admissions to the three-year law course will require the holding of an entrance exam. However, as far as the five-year law course is concerned, since the results of the 10+2 exam have been declared, the university felt that it could dispense with the holding of an entrance exam and make admissions on the basis of those marks.

The bench, after hearing the arguments, held that it will not be safe or reliable to either give equal weightage to the performance of students in the science, arts, commerce streams at the 10+2 level or give preference to one over the other in adjudging the suitability for the course. It requires to be noted that the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for admission to the national law schools for the current academic session has not been scrapped, ruled the bench.

Thus, while disposing of the matter with directions to PU, the bench held that the reason put forth for scrapping the entrance exam for the five-year law course does not appear to be justified.

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