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Allahabad HC Strikes Down Ordinance Granting 80% Institutional Reservation in LLM Course

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Atul v. State Of Uttar Pradesh,

2017 SCC OnLine All 444, decided on 14.02.2017


The petitioner, who is an applicant for admission to LL.M  Course conducted by Lucknow University  by instituting his proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India , seeks to challenge the validity of the of the Ordinance for Admission of LL.M Course in so far as provides that 80% seats shall be filled  up amongst Lucknow University Law Graduates.  In effect, the Petitioner challenges the institutional reservation provided to Lucknow University Law Graduates in Admission to Post Graduate Courses in Law.


Whether 80% institutional reservation by any university is permitted or not?

Whether the LL.M course meets the twin test of (i) reasonable classification based on some intelligible differentia (ii) the justifiability on the basis of the nexus between the classification and the object sought to be achieved


The Court held that there is no doubt that though institutional preference in the present case is permissible, however according to law its extent can only be up to 50% of the total number of seats.  The reasons given for such reservation is that since the other National law Universities have adopted grading systems and securing marks above 90% students of Lucknow University, on the other hand, are securing 70-75% due to the absence of grading system. So students are not in a position to get admission in other universities.  The Court held this reason to be a self-created reason.Also, no reason for departure from the law has been provided by the university.

The Writ Petition has been allowed and the Admission of LL.M course of Lucknow University has been quashed.


The absence of grading system to evaluate LL.B examinations is leading students to secure less marks as compared to the marks being secured by the students of other universities can be easily sailed by the university by providing normalization process of marks. This can be no explanation of the arbitrary rule made on it own by the Universities.

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