The conduct of CLAT 2018 was riddled with imperfections and the petitions filed in various High Courts and the Supreme Court culminated into the present judgement.
The question before the Supreme Court was that whether CLAT 2018 need to be cancelled or not and if not then what methodology needs to be adopted to compensate candidates who suffered due to lost time.
The court, in line with the recommendation of the Grievance Redressal Committee Report, ruled out the idea of a re-examination. The court reasoned that outright cancellation of CLAT 2018 would lead to tremendous inconvenience and hardship upon rest of the candidates.
THE NORMALIZATION FORMULA:
In the interest of the 4690 candidates who lost time, a “normalization formula” is devised to compensate the affected students that takes the time availed and time lost to measure the no. of questions that could have been attempted in the lost time. This no. is judged against the accuracy of the test-taker and the revised marks are calculated accordingly.
For Example- A student “X” scored 75 marks while attempted 100 questions and thus having 75% accuracy. It is calculated through his lost time that the said student would have attempted 8 questions more during the lost time (with the same 75% accuracy) increasing his overall score by 6 marks; finally taking the compensated score to 81 marks.
Since all the details regarding log in and log out times are available in respect of each of the 4690 candidates, it is statistically possible to arrive at a revised score.
The court observed:
“The normalization formula proceeds on the basis of answering efficiency or capacity of a candidate to answer questions in given time and then applies his rate of success as a parameter. Normally, a candidate would first answer those questions, whose answers he is well aware of and leave out rest to be answered in the end. His success rate in the former part would certainly be greater, as compared to the latter. Since he would be given benefit at the same success rate, there would be no prejudice.”
The court also took notice of the flaw in applying the normalization formula:
“It is true that repeated interruptions would cause mental stress and upset him. But that aspect as a factor is difficult to be translated in a quantifiable parameter.”
DIRECTIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT:
A) The court directed that the exercise of applying normalization formula has to be completed by NUALS, Kochi and the Core Committee- CLAT 2018 by 15th June 2018 and the revised results have to be published on 16th June 2018 given the fact that the first round of counselling has already begun.
B) Any allocation of seats in the first round of counselling is not to be affected including the seats for the 4690 students who will have a revised score.
If a candidate, as a result of revised rank list being operative in
second and subsequent round of counseling wants to secure admission in any other college of his or her choice going by his or her revised ranking, he/she shall be allowed to do so without incurring any disadvantage.
The fee deposited in the first college has to be given due credit against the admission in second college.
C) Not being satisfied with the way the examination was conducted, the court directed Union Of India to constitute a Committee to look into the matter and take appropriate remedial measures including penal action, if any, against the body which was entrusted with the task of conducting CLAT 2018.
The committee is to additionally look into the aspect of having satisfactory arrangements in future for a smooth conduct of the subsequent CLAT examinations, re-visit the conduct of CLAT by different NLU’S each year, charging excess examination fees from candidates from the amount actually spent as the records before the court indicate.
The committee is to submit a detailed report to the court within three months from the day of judgement.
D) The court ordered the High Courts to dispose of the pending matters before them and thus all the petitions are disposed of.