The Delhi High Court in an interim order, stayed the reservation policy of the National Law University (NLU) Delhi providing horizontal reservation of 50% to Delhi based candidates. The court held that the decision for providing horizontal reservation had been taken by the NLU in haste without acting in accordance with the National Law University Act, 2007.
“There is nothing placed on record to demonstrate that any recommendation was placed before the Governing Council, which is the only body constituted under the NLU Act to take decisions on all important matters relating to the University and its functioning. In this scenario, there was no justification for the respondent No.3/NLU, Delhi to have decided to bypass the Governing Council and proceed to reserve seats for candidates passing the qualifying examination from a recognised school/college/institute situated within NCT of Delhi on the strength of the decision of the Vice-Chancellor of the Respondent No. 3/NLU which is purported to have been taken in exercise of the power conferred under Section 20(7) of the NLU Act”, the court held.
The court notified the Varsity to issue a Public notice on or before 2 July 2020 about the High court’s decision. The Division Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium prasad also directed to retain the status quo for making admissions of the previous academic year for BA LL.B and LLM for the academic year of 2020-21.
Further, the bench was of the opinion that if no stay was imposed on the impugned reservation policy, then grave prejudice would be caused to the students who would be applying for admission in the respondent No.3/NLU, Delhi for the academic year 2020-21.
The court clarified that it had not gone into the issue as to whether reservation can be provided to students who have taken their qualifying examination from a recognised school, college/institute in Delhi and the extent to which the State Government can intrude into the autonomy of a University created with the object of achieving excellence in the field of legal education and research. These are issues, the court said, that would be engaged with at the time of final arguments.