The Delhi High Court recently declared as ‘unconstitutional’ policy of the Supreme Court of India relating to the appointment of law graduates as Law Clerk-Research Assistant (“LCRA”) with the judges of the apex Court.
Under the so-called policy, applications were invited from the LL.B. (Final Year/Semester/Trimester) students ‘only’ from National Law Schools/Universities who are on the “approved panel” and in the “stand-by-category” of the list maintained by the Supreme Court of India.
“The scheme/ policy/ eligibility criteria is both discriminatory and arbitrary, and thus, violative of the equality clause engrafted in Article 14 of the Constitution”, the Court said. “Therefore, to the extent the present scheme/policy confines the source of candidates, for engagement as LCRAs, to the empanelled Law Colleges and Universities; it is illegal”, the Court added.
Petitioner’s application for appointment as a LCRA was not considered by the Supreme Court on the ground that her law school was not empanelled with it and also, her application was not forwarded by her law school.
The Court directed the Supreme Court Registrar General to consider the petitioner’s application for engagement as a LCRA for the remaining 2013-14 term, notwithstanding the fact that her law school is not on the panel maintained by it and her application is not sponsored by her school.