CLAT Secretariat ‘a closed chapter’ says the CLAT Core Committee; Now all hopes on Delhi HC petition


The CLAT Core Committee 2012 in its first meeting at NLU Jodhpur held during October 1-2, 2011 had dropped the idea of establishment of a CLAT Secretariat. Earlier, this issue was raised in the meeting of CLAT 2011 held on September 21, 2012; however, no decision was reached regarding this.

The CLAT Secretariat, once established, would receive the funds/application fee for conducting CLAT. Under the current setup, the fund is channelled directly to the university conducting CLAT. While the organizing University utilize the funds it receives as application fee for conducting CLAT, the rest is to be retained by the said university. If the establishment of the CLAT Secretariat is approved, the Universities subsequently conducting CLAT would no longer be financially benefitted from the conduct of CLAT.

In response to the RTI application filed by me, asking for the minutes of the meetings of the CLAT core committee, an exclusive copy of the minutes of the first Core Committee meeting held on 1st-2nd October 2011 was obtained by me. The document indicated a unanimous disapproval of the proposal. Although no apparent reason for such a strong negative response has been stated. The minutes clearly state that this “chapter be treated closed”, although, the reason behind such a closure was not made clear. Given below is the extract from the document:

“It was pointed out that in the meeting of CLAT 2011 held on 21.09.2011 at WBNUJS Kolkata; there was no decision with respect to agreement of establishing CLAT secretariat. Members were of the view that the said minutes needs no confirmation. The CLAT Core Committee discussed the idea of establishment of CLAT Secretariat and unanimously disapproved. The chapter be treated as closed.”

Besides this, the response to the RTI application was a delayed one and was received a week past the limitation period of thirty days. The application, as tracked on the India Post website, was received by the NLU Jodhpur authorities on 30th April 2012. While the document sent in response portrays the date of 31st may 2012, which is still one day late, the postal tracking facility on the India Post website reveals the sending date as 7th June 2012, about a week later than the deadline of 30th May 2012, in accordance with the RTI Act 2005. Strangely enough though, the Demand Draft of Rs. 10 attached to the application as the fee for asking for information under RTI Act 2005 was sent back instead of being retained by the NLU Jodhpur authorities. Further as per the RTI Act, a reply provided by the Public Information Officer should also include details of the appellate authority and time period for filing appeal; this was also not complied with. All this questions the awareness of the NLU-J administration with regard to the rules governing RTIs as per the RTI Act 2005.

Moreover, the information asked was not completely provided. According to the application the information asked included the minutes of all the meetings of the CLAT Core Committee 2012 that have taken place till date. However, the information sent in response included only the minutes of the first meeting held in October 2011.

In addition, another RTI was also filed by me regarding the expenses of the first core committee meeting. The figures revealed by the information which was sent in response to this application are as follows:


Travel
Room Rent
Food and Beverages
Alcoholic Beverages
Grand Total
Per Person
Rs. 21,808
Rs. 5,154
Rs. 4,523
Nil

Total Expenses
Rs. 3, 48,928
Rs. 82,464
Rs. 72,368
Nil
Rs. 5,03,760


As such, while meetings costing Rs. 5 Lacks each have resulted in nothing but fiascos increasing by the day, may be cutting down in the expenses of the same would have facilitated scholarships for some students like Donnie whose entire tuition fee of his 5 year law course at GNLU could have financed from a part of the aforementioned expenses.

Now all hope for the establishment of a permanent CLAT body lies in the Delhi High Court petition.


NB:I would like to thank Aditi Choudhary from NUJS, Kolkata for her inputs on this post.

Minutes of the first meeting of CLAT Core Committee 2012 Expenses of first CLAT Core Committee Meeting 2012

1 comments: (+add yours?)

job abraham said...

Brilliant work stripped law team.

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