Around 15,000 students have been admitted to law colleges across the state, after the long-drawn admission process came to an end last week.
The state’s first ever attempt to centralise law admissions by introducing Common Entrance Tests (CETs) for three year and five year LLB courses faced many roadblocks, as the entire process stretched for almost half a year. The process itself was marred by multiple litigations, persistent delays and enormous confusion, with many aspirants in the city unable to secure admission despite availability of seats.
Data from the state CET cell shows that over 6,000 out of 10,000 seats available for the five-year LLB and 5,000 out of 15,000 seats available for the three-year course are still vacant, after six rounds of admissions. Some aspirants have asked the cell to conduct another round of admissions.
“Although we have forwarded the students’ request to the government, it’s difficult to extend the process further. If we do so, the colleges won’t be able to complete the mandatory 90-day term,” said Chandrashekhar Oak, commissioner, CET cell, adding that almost all the requests are from Mumbai.
Officials said that the aspirants had marked a limited number of law colleges from the city and were left without a seat, as most of the seats in the city colleges have been filled.
The aspirants blamed a host of missteps by the state CET cell and Bar Council of India (BCI) for the mess. They said that many of them were confused by the application form, which had a list of college divisions to choose from, instead of a list of colleges. As a result, many of them, reportedly, marked only a single division from a college of choice, instead of marking all the divisions of the college, and lost the seat in the process.
The aspirants also bore the brunt of uncertainty over BCI approvals to many coveted law colleges. The apex body had withheld the approvals to 64 out of 128 colleges across the state, till they agreed to meet its criteria. Many aspirants were turned away by colleges after BCI imposed an age limit for the admissions.
“The shortcomings of the CET Cell with respect to law admissions were evident through various issues such as coordination with BCI, age limit, nationality certificate, incorrect allotment of ladies’ and minority quota, caste validity certificates and multiple choice codes for same colleges,” said Ashutosh Paibhale, who was admitted to Government Law College, Churchgate, this year.
December 2015: The state’s first ever Common Entrance Test (CET) for law announced
April 13: law CET postponed from May 22 to June 18,19
June 18,19: Law CET was conducted
June 29: Results were declared, but no merit list was published
July 5: HC rejects petition challenging CET
Aug 12: Provisional merit lists published two months after law CET
Aug 17: Bar Council of India (BCI) refuses to grant approvals to 64 out of 128 law colleges
Sep 3: The admission process begins
Sep 13: BCI grants approval to most of the “erring colleges”
Sep 14: CET Cell decides to change the first list of college allotments after discrepancies were reported in it
Sep 21: SC dismisses the appeal against HC order allowing CET
Oct 16: The fourth and final list was also altered after the students complaint of errors in it.