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CLAT 2023: Supreme Court directs varsities to ensure no disabled student is denied access to exam

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The Supreme Court has directed the Consortium of National Law Universities to ensure that the access is not denied access to any disabled student for appearing in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said that the deserving disabled student, should not be deprived of a scribe to give the exam.

The Court said that please see the list of 13 disabled students appearing in this exam and make sure that they are not deprived of the writers.

The bench said that the issue would be examined again after this year’s exam is held and, and ordered the consortium to submit an updated affidavit.

It was after a note was put by the consortium setting out the manner in which the exam would be conducted that the Court passed the order.

As per the available information, the public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed by disability-rights activist Arnab Roy.

The Activist has raised a issues with need for a benchmark disability to avail of scribes, along with the condition that the scribe must be in the 11th standard or lower and not a enrolled in any coaching centre.

The Petitioner has stated that he is personally aware of thirteen (13) visually impaired candidates who would be denied effective scribe assistance because of the restrictions imposed by the Consortium of National Law Universities with less than 4 weeks left before the exam date.

The petition further mentions that the Consortium has also taken away the right to a scribe for PwD candidates as he did not meet the benchmark disability, but has genuine difficulty in writing.

It is highlighted that this would exclude those who, due to their disabilities, have a genuine difficulty in writing.

The CLAT 2023 edition is scheduled for December 18, 2022.

As per the petitioner the rules were excessive and arbitrary, and make it impossible for the specially-abled to find a suitable scribe.

It is argued that the rule about the scribe not being enrolled in any coaching centre effectively eliminates most students in the 10th and 11th grade.

Advocate N Sai Vinod,through who the PIL has been filed has also flagged the fact that the Consortium of National Law Universities (which conducts the examination), has not provided for a facility to assign a scribe to those who cannot find one due to financial or other constraints.

It has been pointed out that the same is in breach of guidelines of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from 2018.

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