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Orissa High Court calls for review of National Law Universities’ NRI quota system- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

CUTTACK:  The Orissa High Court has underscored the need for review of the NRI quota system in admission to National Law Universities (NLUs) in the country. It has called for adoption of a uniform and well-defined parameter by the Bar Council of India (BCI) and other stakeholders to regulate the legal education in the country so that the meritorious candidates do not suffer.

The HC said that students belonging to the category of NRI, who are very low ranked in the merit list, often get seats in the NLUs whereas the general candidates having secured better marks lag behind and get disappointed.

“This is like the reservation for the elite class and this dubious category of quota is unconstitutional. The eligibility and selection under this category are unregulated, illegal and arbitrary,” the bench observed in its order on October 20.

The division bench of Justice Sanju Panda and Justice SK Panigrahi observed that, “The Consortium of NLUs, the BCI and all the stakeholders involved in the process should revisit the so-called NRI-sponsored quota and prepare a proper regulation and system while implementing this quota.”

The observation came while disposing of a petition seeking intervention for getting admission in NRI quota at the National Law University of Odisha.

The bench expressed disinclination to entertain the petition as all the seats reserved for NRI category had been filled up, but said, “We are constrained to observe that the NRI category is an affront to the meritorious candidates who toiled day and night to secure seats in NLUs through CLAT.”

The bench observed that the elitist approach to selected group in CLAT admission process must be restricted.

It is imperative that this issue needs to be settled within a shortest possible time to assuage the pains of the unselected due to poor rank. Justifying its observations, the bench said several studies reveal that the selection process under this NRI quota is quite vague, undefined and is based on inconsistent parameters.

“Even the apex court has observed in PA Inamdar Vs. State of Maharashtra that admission under this category is given to less meritorious students just because they could afford to pay the higher fees demanded by the university,” the bench said. 

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