Following a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India, age will no longer be a bar if you are aspiring to study law in one of the prestigious National Law universities (NLUs). With this new ruling, the apex court has quashed the upper age limit for appearing in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015.
The SC delivered this judgment while dismissing a plea by Lucknow-based Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University (RMLNLU) against an earlier Allahabad High Court order directing the university to do away with the upper age limit of 20 years to appear in CLAT 2015.
CLAT happens to be the pan-India entrance test conducted and administered rotationally by the 16 NLUs. It serves as a screening gateway for admission to the undergraduate and postgraduate programs (LLB and LLM) in the NLUs.
The responsibility of conducting CLAT 2015 was assigned to RMLNLU. The last date of submitting applications online is March 31, 2015. The university’s decision to impose an upper age limit was first challenged in the Allahabad High Court by one Devasheesh Pathak along with 20 other appellants. In support of their argument, the petitioners highlighted the fact that there was no upper age limit for taking admission in CA, CS, MBA, B.Ed, and other such programs.
Hearing the case, Justice Shashi Kant Gupta of the High Court said in his February 26 order: “I am constrained to say that RMLNLU has completely shut its eyes and has not considered that when the BCI itself has withdrawn the notification prescribing upper age limit of 20 years for admission in the stream of integrated bachelor of law degree programme, RMLNLU had no authority in law to prescribe the upper age limit for appearing in CLAT-2015 which is merely an examination conducting university.”
“The university cannot go beyond the statutory provisions as have been laid down under the Advocates Act and the Bar Council of India Rules. Thus, the CLAT organizing university went beyond the power envisaged under the Act by prescribing 20 years as the maximum age limit for CLAT-2015.”
The university chose to challenge the High Court order in the Supreme Court, only to face disappointment as SC decided to back the initial ruling by the Allahabad High Court.