Not in Favour of Mi­nor­ity Tag for AMU: Modi Govt

But seeks time to with­draw ap­peal filed dur­ing UPA for re­tain­ing such sta­tus

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Our Le­gal Cor­re­spon­dent

New Delhi: The Modi gov­ern­ment has told the Supreme Court that it does not sup­port mi­nor­ity sta­tus for Ali­garh Mus­lim Univer­sity but sought time to with­draw an ap­peal the Cen­tre filed when the UPA gov­ern­ment was in power for re­tain­ing such sta­tus for AMU. The Supreme Court was hear­ing ap­peals of the univer­sity and the Cen­tre against an Al­la­habad high court rul­ing that AMU was a cen­tral univer­sity and not a mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tion.

A par­lia­men­tary leg­is­la­tion in 1981 had be­stowed mi­nor­ity sta­tus on AMU. A mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tion can re­serve more than 50% seats for the com­mu­nity that has set up the in­sti­tu­tion. If AMU is stripped of the sta­tus, it would also al­low the gov­ern­ment to have a say in its func­tion­ing.

Ap­pear­ing for the Cen­tre, at­tor­ney general Mukul Ro­hatgi told a three-judge bench of Jus­tice JS Khe­har on Mon­day: “AMU is a cen­tral univer­sity es­tab­lished by a cen­tral act. We have taken a con­scious de­ci­sion that AMU is not a mi­nor­ity in­sti­tu­tion.” He, how­ever, sought time to file an ap­pli­ca­tion with­draw­ing the ap­peal and the cour t g ranted him eight weeks and AMU four weeks to re­spond to the gov­ern­ment’s stand. Three in­ter­ven­tion ap­pli­ca­tions were also filed on be­half of the for­mer AMU stu­dents in sup­port of the AMU claim for a mi­nor­ity tag. The AG sug­gested that the is­sue may well have to be re­ferred to a seven-judge bench even­tu­ally, but the court said it would take a call at the next hear­ing.

In an­other case, in which the high court de­ci­sion to lay off the ap­point­ment of the AMU v i c e - c h a n c e l l o r was c h a l - l e n g e d , Chi e f Ju s t i c e T S Thakur asked whether a univer­sity could claim mi­nor­ity sta­tus un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion. He said this when the vicechan­cel­lor’s lawyer cited the var­sity’s mi­nor­ity tag to de­fend its au­ton­omy in ap­point­ments.

“A col­lege or an ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion, yes, but can a univer­sity be mi­nor­ity,” the CJI won­dered, as the V-C through se­nior ad­vo­cate Sal­man Khur­shid ar­gued that UGC guide­lines on ap­point­ments or qual­i­fi­ca­tions would not ap­ply to AMU. The CJI then sought the Modi gov­ern­ment’s stand on the is­sue.

Supreme Court grants Ro­hatgi eight weeks and AMU four weeks to re­spond to the govt’s stand

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.