Delhi government argued that National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) is only a state university and not a “national” institute of excellence and it sought to counter the contention that the proposed 50% reservation at the varsity for local candidates would undermine its national character.
The Delhi government remarked,
“There are only eight recognized national institutes of excellence and NLUD is not one of them”.
A Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad was hearing the petition filed by three students of National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) against the introduction of 50% horizontal reservation.
Ramesh Singh, Standing Counsel for the Delhi government, argued that NLU Delhi was not a Central university or a national institute of excellence, and was only a state university which came into existence on the basis of the Act enacted by the Delhi legislature.
In response to this, Justice Kohli remarked,
“Tell your client to thank itself for that.”
Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul today vehemently argued that the Delhi government “arm-twisted” the University administration into rolling out the reservation for local candidates, in violation of the NLUD Act.
The petition was filed through Advocate Nipun Saxena. Advocate Naman Joshi appeared for prospective BA.LLB. candidates, intervenors in the matter.
The Delhi government in case of NLUD argued that the reservation policy was in accordance with the NLU Delhi statute, in furtherance of Article 41 of the Constitution, and was protected by several judgments of the Supreme Court.
The Court also heard parties on the point of the policy being “disadvantageous to true-blue Delhites”.
Kaul argued that the criteria of clearing the “qualifying examination” from an institute in Delhi was not rational or valid, as it may exclude a Delhiite who moves to another city for his 10th/12th standard schooling.
Standing Counsel Singh said in response to this, “This keeps in mind the cosmopolitan flavour of Delhi.”
After hearing the parties at length, the Court reserved its order on the petition on the point of grant of interim relief.