New Delhi, October 6: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court to declare the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) conducted by the Consortium of National Law Universities as “erroneous, faulty, defective, discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights of the Constitution”.

The petition filed by several students from across the country led by Uttar Pradesh-based Lavanya Bhatt urged the apex court to quash the exam and order it to be re-conducted. It asked the court to direct the consortium to set up a high-powered committee to examine the numerous complaints about “software glitches” and mismatched questions and answers so that students are not put in a dilemma. The petition said a foolproof mechanism should be built to avoid these problems in the future, The Hindu reported.

The online CLAT 2020 was conducted on September 28. The complaints about the exam include results displaying answers different from the ones ticked; results displaying or calculating marks for questions which were not even attempted by the candidates; 10 wrong questions followed by erroneous answers, etc.

The petition also complained about the “unreasonable lengthy design of the CLAT examination”.

“Simple word count of the CLAT 2020 question paper reveals that the paper comprised roughly 18,600 words in total. In view of the time limit of two hours or 120 minutes given to the students to solve the question paper, it was apparent, that students were expected to read, process and respond to questions at the unreal speed of 155 words per minute or 2.6 words per second.”

The petition said “some students come from non-English background, therefore, such a ……. focus on English reading and comprehension skill has a disproportionate impact on these students”.

“In 2019, Prof. (Dr.) Faizan Mustafa, who was then the president and is presently holding the office as secretary of the consortium, had categorically advocated for a more language-inclusive approach to CLAT.”

The petition said the consortium released the provisional answers on September 30. Aspirants went on to raise objections against the answer keys and software used for the exam. The plea claimed the consortium had issued a release on October 3 in a “very arrogant way”, saying the large number of objections had come merely because they had made their filing “absolutely free” while others charge “₹1,000 per objection”.

More than 75,000 candidates applied for CLAT while 68,833 downloaded the admit cards. More than 86% took the exam across 300 centres, the petition said.

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