Delhi High Court Issues Notice In Plea Challenging 50% Domicile Reservation at NLU, Delhi

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The Delhi HC issued a notice in petitions filed by students and alumni of National Law University, Delhi. They were challenging the introduction of a 50% domicile reservation at the University.

Facts of the Case

Earlier this year, the students of NLU Delhi wrote an open letter to the Delhi High Court. They urged the Chief Justice and the HC judges to look into the matter of 50% domicile reservation. Last month, an LL.M. aspirant had also moved the HC against the introduced reservation policy.

The students protested against the move that jeopardizes the national image of NLU Delhi. Further, they raised concerns about the lack of infrastructure and faculty strength. In addition to these, they faced the issue of denial of hostel facility and safety of women students.

Arguments by the Petitioners

The petitioners have challenged the 50% horizontal reservation for Delhi-based candidates. They contended that it is conflicting to the statutory mandate of the NLU Act, 2007. They submitted that the Act was to create a “national institution of excellence in the field of legal education”. Moreover, they argued that the introduction of such a reservation will change the national character of the university. They further stated that it will get reduced to a regional day college.

The petitioners argued against adding the number of seats to the LLB and LLM courses. It is because the present facilities and faculty will get strained. They added that the University is not prepared enough to accommodate such a large number of students.

They also reasoned that a significant amount of reservation is excessive and unreasonable. It has no rational nexus to the objectives that the statute aims to achieve. The petitioner also requested the Court to implead the Delhi Government as a co-respondent in the present proceedings.

Arguments by the Respondents

The counsel for the respondent raised a preliminary objection that none of the petitioners has a locus standi to file the petition. He stated that they have already graduated from NLU Delhi. He added that they have filed the present petition in the capacity of its alumni. So no cause of action arises in their favour.

Court’s Decision

The Court issued notices to the respondents. The Court granted liberty to the parties to file their written submissions beforehand. It should not exceed three pages along with the citations they want to rely upon. They have to submit the final arguments before the next date of hearing through video conferencing.

The matter will be further heard on June 25, 2020.


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