The National Commission for Backward Classes has directed the University Grants Commission to take appropriate action against particular National Law Universities. The NLUs in question were found to be violating mandatory OBC and domicile reservation norms.
The order, signed by NCBC Chairman Dr. Bhagwan Lal Sahni, also called upon all NLUs to strictly obey the rules set down regarding reservation percentages starting from the academic year 2020-21. A complaint regarding the issue had been moved last year by Sr. Advocate Ramesh Babu Vishwanthula; following which the Commission had initially summoned the Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR, Hyderabad in June 2019. Vice-Chancellors of other NLUs were also subsequently summoned.
The complainant alleged that NLUs across the country were flouting the reservation norms openly; despite multiple advisories and directions being served on them. Demands for reports were met with vague replies. The Commission expressed disapproval over the submission that NLUs were not governed by any statute but their own. It said that the Constitution was the supreme law all were subject to; and since reservations flowed from it, they necessarily had to be applicable. Further, it also expressed concern at the example the law universities were setting regarding compliance with law.
The Commission also took critical note of the reservation of fifteen seats for foreign nationals; despite there being no provisions for doing so, to the exclusion of OBC candidates. It also objected to a submission by NALSAR that it did not receive funds from the government; calling it ‘false information’. Documents submitted by the complainant showed that NALSAR received funds annually from the UGC. A UGC member also confirmed the same.
In its order, the NCBC gave the following directions:
- The UGC should immediately take note of the serious irregularity in the admission process in NLUs.
- The UGC should ensure that the NLUs comply with the mandate for 27% OBC reservations as well as the state-prescribed domicile reservation.
- A compliance report on the same be filed at the earliest.
- Stringent action to be taken by the UGC against the universities that do not follow the orders of the UGC; which have blatantly violated the rule of reservation for OBC in admissions until the academic year 2019.