The Plea of Applying 30% Domicile Reservations in The Academic Year Of 2019-2020 Quashed by The Supreme Court.
Supreme Court in the case of SHREYAS SINHA v/s THE WEST BENGAL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF JURIDICAL SCIENCES & ORS., held that the provisions under the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Amendment Act of 2019 will not be applied for the academic year of 2019-2020 but to the academic year of 2020-2021.
Facts of The Case
In the given case of SHREYAS SINHA v/s THE WEST BENGAL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF JURIDICAL SCIENCES & ORS.,
A Writ Petition was filed before the High Court of Calcutta on 23rd December 2019, for providing 30% Domicile Reservation to the students domiciled in the State of West Bengal under the provisions of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Amendment Act of 2019.
An Amendment to the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Act of 1999 came into the force on 21st May 2019, which provided provisions for making compulsory provisions for making Thirty Percent Reservations for the students domiciled in the State of West Bengal and also gave power to the University to conduct exams and give admissions based on fairness and grades and merits of the students.
The notification for the conduct of the Common Law Admission Test 2019, was released on 5th January 2019, by the Consortium of National Law Universities and 12th May 2019 was decided as the date of examination. However due to certain difficulties the date of examination was changed to 26th May 2019.
The Appellant in this case is a student who gave the Common Law Entrance Test on the date of 26th May 2019 and ranked 731 in All India Merit List. As per the merit list and student's choice, he was supposed to get admitted to the National Law University, Odisha, however he did not get admitted into the above-said institution.
According to the University's brochure, the University was to fill up 127 seats based on the merit list of CLAT in which 74 seats were kept for the general category, and the West Bengal domiciled candidates were given 10 seats including 4 seats for the general category.
However, the Appellant filed a Writ Petition before the Calcutta High Court, stating that according to the provisions of the Amendment of 2019 in the Act of West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences 1999, a 30% reservation was to be given to the candidates of the West Bengal domicile.
In the opinion of the Appellant, the Amendment Act was passed before the conduct of the CLAT and therefore the provisions of such applied to the procedure of admissions for the academic year of 2019-2020.
The Appellant also stated that the University has failed to comply with the provisions of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Amendment Act of 2019 by not granting the benefit of 30% reservations to the students of the West Bengal domicile.
However, while defending its side the University of National Law, Odisha, stated before the court that, the details, information, and the seat matrix were uploaded on the website of the Consortium of National Law Universities in January 2019.
The University in its defense also added that the seats allotted to the West Bengal students were filled up and the rank of the last student admitting into the university was 262.
It was also stated by the University that the elaborate exercise of admissions was started before the passing of the Amendment Act and therefore provisions of the act did not apply to admission procedure for the year of 2019-2020.
The University also added that the compulsory reservation was not given since the admission procedure already has begun and candidates had already submitted their choices of National law Universities.
The Single Bench of the Calcutta High Court ordered that the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences Amendment Act of 2019 was prospective in nature and dismissed the Writ Petition filed by the Appellant.
Aggrieved by the decision of the High Court of Calcutta the Appellant filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court after reviewing the petition passed the following order.
The judgment of The Case
The University had the liberty to decide to extend the benefit of the reservation to the next academic year i.e 2020-2021.
The University was right at considering all the facts and circumstances while extending the benefit to the next academic year.
The Appellant cannot be said as a meritorious candidate was the rank of the last student admitted to the university was 262 were in the Appellant held the rank of 731.
Therefore, there were no errors were found in the decision of the Calcutta High Court.
The Appeal was dismissed.