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On Monday, the Delhi High Court stayed the decision to introduce a 50% horizontal reservation at National Law University, Delhi to students who passed their qualifying exam from the institutes located within the National Capital Territory.

A bench comprising of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad while hearing a plea by the students and alumni of NLU Delhi challenging the introduction of 50% horizontal reservation at the University for candidates who have cleared their qualifying examinations from an institute in Delhi, passed an interim order and directed the National Law University (NLU), Delhi to issue fresh admission notification before 2nd July, also to publish it on its website.

“Status Quo Ante be maintained as on the previous academic year. The horizontal reservation of 50% to Delhi Candidates shall be stayed. All the other issues shall be taken up for hearing on 18th August 2020,” stated the order. “The University is directed to bring out a fresh admission notification before 2nd July and is also directed to publish the same on its website. A further one-week period is given to enable the students to apply afresh who may be interested in applying for the admission process,” added the court while pronouncing the judgment.

The petitioners who wanted to pursue LLM from NLU Delhi had contended that the move is completely unconstitutional and illogical. “Since, the petitioner belongs to General/Unreserved category and is also a permanent resident of Delhi and intends to pursue her LL.M. from NLU Delhi; the provision of 50% reservation to the students of Delhi and also, the provision of 22% OBC & 10% EWS reservations in LLM without increasing the number of seats as per MHRD guidelines are adversely affecting her chances of selection and her future career prospects,” it is urged.

Furthermore, providing 22% reservation to OBC and 10% reservation to the EWS category without increasing the total no. of seats is also challenged as unconstitutional and against the mandate of guidelines issued by MHRD. The plea has claimed that the new admission policy, which provides for the reservation and increased intake, was bad in law as it was notified on January 14, 2020, without the approval of the governing council, the plenary authority of NLUD.

Further, the petition claimed that the new admission policy seeks to take away the “mandatory residential nature” of NLUD, which would result in “disrupting the academic curriculum, various seminar, and certificate courses taken by industry experts and former judges.”

The court listed the matter for further hearing on August 18.


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