[Breaking] No upper age limit for appearing CLAT exam

While considering a writ petition seeking to issue a Writ of Certiorari, for quashing the advertisement notification issued by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, which seeks, seeks to prescribe the upper age limit of 20 years as an essential criterion for appearing in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT Exam), held that, neither the provisions of State Universities or the National Law School of India Act, OR any other law whereby examination conducting universities have been empowered to fix upper age limit in the Common Law Entrance Examination.

Court further observed that, the statement of objects and reasons of National Law School of India Act, 1986 clearly lays down that one of the functions of the Bar Council of India is the promotion of legal education. Similarly, Object and Reasons of National Law School of India Act, 1986 states as follows;

One of the functions of the Bar Council of India is promotion of legal education. To carry out that object the Bar Council of India created a charitable trust called the Bar Council of India Trust, which in turn registered a Society known as the National Law School of India Society, in Karnataka. The Society framed necessary rules to manage the National Law School of India with powers to confer degrees, diplomas, etc., and requested the State Government to assist it, by establishing the School as a University by a statue so that it could carry out its objects effectively. The State Government considers it desirable to encourage the establishment of such a national level institution in the State.

Court further noted that, when other admission examinations for the courses like B.Ed, CA, SC, MBA etc. do not impose any upper age limit for appearing the common admission test, a restriction of the age to take admission violates the fundamental right as envisaged under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

While directing Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, to accept applications of the petitioners as well as other similar candidates, who are intending to appear the CLAT Exam, Court ruled that, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, is only an agency given with the responsibility to conduct the Common Law Admission Test, on behalf of respective National Law Universities, at par with the guidelines issued by the Bar Council of India.

Read Full Judgment of Devasheesh Pathak v. BCI, decided on 26-02-2015 (Allahabad High Court). Followed by theJaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court also removed the maximum age limit for appearing CLAT.

Don’t hang the convicts hurriedly and secretly, says Supreme Court

Supreme Court on in its recent judgment said that the execution of death sentence cannot be carried out in a hurried and secret manner. A bench of justices AK Sikri and UU Lalit of the Apex Court observed that proper procedure must be followed by Government authorities and execution cannot be done till the convict exhausts all remedy available to him to save his life.

Supreme Court, while quashing the execution warrants of a young woman and her lover, convicted for killing seven members of her family including a 10-month-old baby in Uttar Pradesh in 2008, noting that it was issued “in haste” by giving a go-by to mandatory guidelines.

Holding that, the death convicts cannot be denied fundamental right to life, observed that Government cannot hang condemned prisoners without giving him prior notice and allowing him to meet family members.

“Right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not end with the confirmation of the death sentence. The basis to the right to dignity also extends to the death row convicts. Therefore, the sentence of death has to be executed with total dignity.

“That is why there are many judgments mandating the manner in which the death sentence has to be executed,” the bench said and added that “therefore the procedure prescribed by the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court for execution of death sentence is in consonance with Article 21”.

Apex court further observed that right to life does not end with the confirmation of the death sentence observing that the basis to the right to dignity also extends to the death row convicts. In the given case Apex Court observed that the death warrant was signed by the Sessions Judge in haste without waiting for the convicts to exhaust the available legal remedies.

Conversion of girls to Islam solely for marriage not valid

Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani of Allahabad High Court while dismissing petitions filed by five couples who sought “protection as married couple” ruled that the religious conversion of girls “without their faith and belief in Islam” and “solely for the purpose of marriage” to Muslim boys could not be held valid. In each case, the boys were Muslim while the girls were Hindus who got converted to Islam for solemnising “nikah”. In his order earlier this week, Justice Kesarwani quoted a Supreme Court order of 2000 wherein it was laid down that “conversion of religion of a non-Muslim without any real change of belief in Islam and only for the purpose of marriage is void”.

Supreme Court on Conversion of Religion of a non-Muslim to Islam

The principal question which came before the Court in Lily Thomas v. Union of India & Ors., was that, where a non-Muslim gets converted to the ‘Muslim’ faith without any real change or belief and merely with a view to avoid an earlier marriage or to enter into a second marriage, whether the marriage entered into by him after conversion would be void?

Court observed that, “in a pluralist society like India in which people have faith in their respective religions, beliefs or tenets propounded by different religious or their offshoots, the founding fathers, while making the Constitution, were confronted with problems to unify and integrate people of India professing different religious faiths, born in different castes, sex or Sub-section s in the society speaking different languages and dialects in different religions and provided a secular Constitution to integrate all sections of the society as a united Bharat.”

Further, “Religion is a matter of faith stemming from the depth of the heart and mind. Religion is a belief which binds the spiritual nature of man to a super-natural being; it is an object of conscientious devotion, faith and pietism. Devotion in its fullest sense is a consecration and denotes an act of worship. Faith in the strict sense constitutes firm reliance on the truth of religious doctrines in every system of religion. Religion, faith or devotion are not easily interchangeable. If the person feigns to have adopted another religion just for some worldly gain or benefit, it would be religious bigotry. Looked at from this angle, a person who mockingly adopts another religion where plurality of marriage is permitted so as to renounce the previous marriage and desert the wife, he cannot be permitted to take advantage of his exploitation as religion is not a commodity to be exploited. The institution of marriage under every personal law is a sacred institution”, and stated that, “where a non-Muslim male gets converted to the Muslim faith without any real change of belief and merely with a view to avoid any earlier marriage or to enter into a second marriage, any marriage entered into by him after conversion would be void”.