[Breaking] Maximum age limit for appearing CLAT removed

While considering a Public Interest Litigation filed by the students of National Law School of India University, seeking to scrap the maximum age limit criteria for appearing the Common Law Admission Test, Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court, passed an interim order directing Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, to accept applications without any age discrimination.

In this regard, court further directed Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, to update their software system, where the applications are accepted online, so that, no applications will be rejected on the basis of maximum age limit.

While issuing the interim order, court observed that, the Bar Council of India, itself withdrawn the Clause 28 of Schedule III, Rule 11 of Bar Council of India Legal Education Rules, 2008 on the ground that, introduction of discriminatory classification of students by prescribing an age limit is in violation of the provisions of the Advocates Act, 1961. Court, further considering the candidates from rural areas said that, fixing maximum age limit will not serve the purpose of conducting Common Law Admission Test.

Read Full Judgment of Kshitij Sharma v. Bar Council of India (04-03-2015, Rajasthan HC) OR Search for D.B. Writ (PIL) Petition No.2497/2015 at Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench

Earlier, in a similar case, Allahabad High Court also scraped the upper age limit for appearing CLAT Exam. Read more on No upper age limit for appearing CLAT exam, on the ground that, the same is in violation of Article 19 of Indian Constitution.

[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.