The Supreme Court has recently dismissed a Special Leave Petition of a 17-year-old student who accidentally marked himself as belonging to the ‘General’ category instead of the OBC in the exam.

The Court denied the benefit of caste reservation in admission to the petitioner who was holding AIR 30 in the CLAT (Common Law Admission Test).

The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka observed, “We thus call upon the Grievance Redressal Committee to take a call on the representation in time so that on the petitioner succeeding, he is not deprived of the relief as according to the counsel on instructions even after the first set of counselling, apparently seats could have remained available.”

The Bench also said that it is difficult to purely proceed on sympathies in such a case.

Advocate Meenakshi Arora appeared on behalf of the petitioner in this matter.

In this case, the petitioner belonging to the OBC category (non-creamy layer) obtained an All India Rank (general) of 481 and an All India Rank (OBC) of 30 in the CLAT 2023 UG examination. However, he made a crucial mistake while filling the form by marking that he belonged to the creamy layer even though he uploaded his certificate of OBC where it was stipulated that he was not a part of the creamy layer.

Such a mistake caused the candidate heavily as, despite his merit, the benefit of reservation would not be available to him. Hence, he made a grievance about the same and then filed a writ petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The counsel for the petitioner contended before the Apex Court that the SLP be considered as the second round of counselling were about to begin and that the OBC seats were lying vacant.

The Supreme Court after hearing the counsel noted, “We put to learned senior counsel for the petitioner that the impugned order does not even specify the time frame within which such a representation is to be decided. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that the Grievance Redressal Committee has to take a call so that if the petitioner is successful, the plea does not become illusionary. We are informed that the first round of counselling is over and carried out over the last week and the next counselling is now on 27th January, 2023.”

The Apex Court further asserted that the petitioner with his rank would possibly get admission in one or the other law school but his endeavour is that if the representation is decided favourably, he may get admission in the Bangalore Law School.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the SLP.

Cause Title- Arjun (Minor) through his father v. Consortium of National Law Universities & Anr.

Click here to read/download the Order