CLAT exam gets a make-over, age limit reduced to 20

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) core committee has notified that it will introduce the age restrictions in the CLAT exam starting next year. The candidates above the age of 20 will not be eligible to appear in the exam. Until CLAT 2016, there was no upper age limit prescribed.

CLAT examinationCommon Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a centralized test for admission to 17 prominent National Law Universities in India. The CLAT scores are used by other private law colleges across the country and Public Sector Undertakings for admissions and recruitment respectively.

In a meeting held at the Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) in Patna on Tuesday, several other changes to the exam were also proposed. Dr. A Lakshminath, Vice Chancellor of the Chanakya National Law University and the chairman of the core committee presided over the meeting which was attended by Vice Chancellors of 12 major National Law varsities of the country.

It was also decided that the counselling will be carried out in 3 rounds. Earlier the allocation of seats was done in 4 round counselling. Also, admissions in Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU), Nagpur will be done on the basis of CLAT making the total number of participating institutions increase to 18.

The decision comes after the Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex body that governs legal education across the country had released a notice in September regarding the revival of age restrictions under the clause 28 of Legal Education Rules 2008. As per the Clause 28 of Schedule III of the Legal Education Rules 2008 the upper age limit for admission in LL.B 3 year course is 30 years and for LL.B 5 year course is 20 years.

The clause was officially passed in March 2009. The clause was later challenged and in 2011, the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed it. Then in 2013 BCI withdrew the clause.

However, the Madras High Court, later, quashed the decision to withdraw the clause saying it was illegal to withdraw the clause. When the BCI appealed against the decision of Madras HC in the Supreme Court, the apex court dismissed the appeal. Following which BCI passed the notification on September 19 asking the varsities to reinstate the upper age limit for law courses.

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