Provide scribes for physically disabled students, SC to consortium of nat’l law varsities

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the consortium of national law universities to provide a scribe for physically disabled candidates, who are unable to find scribes on their own, to take up the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) examination for admission to the LL.B course.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said: “The consortium of NLUs should provide scribes to a candidate who cannot get a scribe.”

The bench, also comprising justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, also passed a slew of directions to ensure that the candidates with disabilities should be provided with all facilities as stipulated by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in its memorandum.

The bench directed that in future, the guidelines applicable for the facilities to be extended to the persons with disabilities candidates should be issued well in advance. It further added that it would ensure clarity for candidates regarding the nature of the facilities to be made available to them for the CLAT.

The apex court, for the time being, accepted submissions of the consortium of national law universities that a candidate aspiring to get through CLAT cannot be provided with a student of Class 11 as a scribe, if that student is taking any coaching to prepare for a competitive examination.

The consortium of NLUs contended that CLAT consisted of multiple-choice questions and it is essential to ensure that scribe does not provide answers independently, which is required to protect the sanctity of the test.

The apex court directed the consortium of NLUs to formulate the modalities consistent with the submissions to avoid any difficulty, which could be faced by the persons with disabilities.

The top court passed the order on a plea filed by disabled rights activist Arnab Roy challenging some stringent conditions imposed by CLAT consortium on persons with disabilities intending to avail scribes.

The apex court in December last year had issued the notice on the plea and directed the consortium of NLUs to ensure no physically disabled student is denied access to the then upcoming CLAT examination and all necessary facilities. The facilities for the physically disabled students included a scribe to write the papers for deserving candidates.




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