CLAT 2018: Candidate approaches Punjab & Haryana HC for fresh exam

After the Rajasthan High Court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has now been called upon to intervene for relief in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2018) debacle.

A Haryana-based CLAT aspirant, Pranjal Goel, has moved the Court alleging that he lost approximately 30 minutes during his test owing to technical glitches during the conduct of the online aptitude test. The petition has been filed through Advocate Narender Pal Bhardwaj.

In his petition, Goel has submitted that he appeared for CLAT following two years of coaching. He had taken the test at Geeta Institute of Management & Technology in Kurukshetra.

The difficulties faced by him at the centre during the conduct of this year’s CLAT has been noted as follows:

  • Question paper did not appear on the computer screen for 18 minutes at the start of the exam
  • Following the 18-minute delay, the computer again stopped working for another 10 minutes because the server was down in Lab No. 6
  • Due to the computer getting hung in this manner, the question paper disappeared a number of times
  • On an oral request, the invigilator assured the petitioner that additional time would be given to complete the exam. However, no such time was given

On account of these difficulties, Goel has submitted that he could only attempt 132 questions out of the 200.

The petition goes on to recount that it was only after the exam that the petitioner came to know of similar technical problems being faced by several students. In particular, he has made reference to a viral WhatsApp video which had recorded such problems being faced at the Hisar district exam centre.

It has also been noted that in the Hisar centre, students were given extra time and the exam carried on till 7 and 8 in the evening. In this backdrop, the petitioner has argued that he was not given fair time to attempt all the questions on par with other candidates all over India.

The petition also states that a representation raising these grievances had been made to the authorities of the organising university i.e. the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS), the Prime Minster’s Officer and the Union Human Resource Ministry, to no avail.

Therefore, the petitioner has approached the High Court with the following prayers:

  • That NUALS be directed to conduct a fresh exam for the petitioner to retake.
  • That NUALS be directed to either grant grace marks in proportion to loss of time or to only consider 132 questions as equivalent to 200 and accordingly calculate percentile.

The matter will come up for hearing on May 21, Tuesday.

Even as the High Courts are being approached, grievances raised regarding the conduct of CLAT is also being taken up that the Supreme Court in a PIL filed by Professor Shamnad Basheer. The 2015 PIL argues for handing over the conduct of CLAT to an independent professional body, rather than leaving it to be organised by National Law Schools in a rotation.

Appearing in the case, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayananhad argued in Court last Tuesday that CLAT 2018 was a complete disaster. 

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