No one killed Jessica is the thought that came to my mind when I heard that out of the 25+ errors in CLAT 2015 the authorities had accepted only two more errors (one incorrect question and one change of answer choice) in the paper despite sufficient evidence to the contrary.
In the unfortunate case of Jessica Lal, the accused were acquitted due to botched up investigation and false witnesses. Sabrina, her sister, decided to fight the system. Media, public and political parties came together and the government machinery was forced to act leading to the accused getting convicted. If CLAT 2015 candidates who have been done in by the “Expert Committees of CLAT 2015” think that they too will get justice they are sadly mistaken, nothing of the sort will happen. No one will stand up for them. Let us look at all the actors in this charade called CLAT 2015.
CLAT organizing and implementation committees: These committees comprise the Vice Chancellors and registrars respectively of the NLUs. These entities have the responsibility of conducting the test in a fair and transparent manner. I am not aware of the inner workings of the CLAT committees, the VCs and Registrars would have delegated the responsibilities to the “Experts” and would have gone by their advice but the VCs are still accountable for the output. Late night on 5th June, I sent emails to the VCs of the NLUs with the list of errors requesting their intervention but to no avail.
Experts who created CLAT 2015: They decided that you need to know law before you join a law school; they feel that to be a good lawyer you need to have a good grasp of high level mathematical concepts. They gave us a syllabus and ignored it when creating the question paper. Their inability to copy questions correctly produces a question paper that would make “Jolly LLB” look like an expert in English language. No wonder these “Experts” are unable to find any error in the question paper and would want us to believe that:
- The critics censored (not censured) the new movie because of its social unacceptability (Q2),
- Either Dulcet and Raucous are synonyms or Crazy and Insane are antonyms (Q25),
- Legal knowledge and legal reasoning mean the same,
- 11,800 lies between 10,000 and 11,000 (Q166)
- Data sets can be solved with inconsistent data (Q169-173 and Q191)
For other such pearls of wisdom please go through the CLAT 2015 paper.
Okay the paper has errors and there are other issues but at least it is fair! Are you kidding? A few students have filed a case in Allahabad High Court claiming that the extra ordinary result of candidates in a particular city is due to “transparency” – their allegation is that the paper was made available to some coaching institutes a couple of days before CLAT 2015.
Parents: Kids expect parents to protect their rights but here it is the parents who are afraid of raising their voice. Privately they complain but will not come out in the open and will not do anything to protect the future of their children. The parents who want their children to have a career in law do not want to get involved in “legal hassles”! And who are these parents? They are lawyers, members of the judiciary, senior civil servants, CXO’s in top private sector companies, top media professionals and other educated elite of the country.
Parents of candidates who have done well do not want any changes because it could harm their children. So what if the questions are incorrect, all that matters is that my child has made it to a top Law school in the country. Many of them do not realize that correcting the errors in the paper could lead to improved marks and better ranks for their wards.
Media: Many parents and students think that the media will come to their rescue. It will amplify their voice, force the authorities to notice the injustice and rescue their careers. How stupid can you get, media goes after numbers and there are only 40,000 of you. As compared to the 15 lakh candidates for IIT JEE, 10 lakh for Civil Sevices, 7 lakh for Medical and 2 lakh for MBA you are insignificant, you do not count. The AIPMT paper leak has been widely reported but CLAT 2015 has hardly attracted any attention. Do not expect the media to stand up for you, you will not add to their TRPs.
Political Parties: What about the political parties? Well they are not really different from media. It is the numbers that matter and you are very few. Not so long ago Mr. Modi, Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Kejriwal were wooing the youth and presumably they will act if they get the information but how will they come to know of your misfortune? Can you organize a street protest or a dharna at Jantar Mantar or a candle light march? No, then there is no hope for you. Do not pin your hopes on social media, it is virtual, in the real world only physical is noticed, genuineness of the cause is not important.
Judiciary: Which leaves us with only the judiciary, but it will usually not act on its own and someone has to approach the judiciary. Your parents refuse to act, the media is silent and you do not exist for the political parties hence the judiciary cannot do anything.
Coaching institutes: But what about the coaching institutes? Why can’t they approach the courts is a common refrain. We can’t because of two reasons – one, we are not the affected party and hence do not have a “locus standi” and two, it is (incorrectly) assumed that coaching institutes have a vested interest in picking up such issues and hence it weakens the case.
You the CLAT Aspirant: So my dear students, please learn to grin and bear it, please learn to compromise with your ambitions. Do not expect anyone else to help you in your hour of crisis unless they can gain something out of it.
However if you are not willing to compromise on your ambitions then please stand up and fight for your rights, get your parents to file a case in the courts and do not let the system rob you of what you deserve. It is your career and you have to take the first step.
Note: I had written this article late evening on 6th June after CLAT 2015 rejected of almost all errors in the paper. I was extremely disturbed and in my anger wrote this article. One rule that I follow is that anything written in anger will not be published immediately and will be reviewed after a couple of days to ensure that in my anger I have not been incorrect or judgemental