‘Aligarh Muslim University is not a religious institution’, Center argued in the Supreme Court, hearing again today

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'aligarh muslim university is not a religious institution', center argued in the supreme court, hearing again today - news2news. In

Aligarh Muslim University minority status:A hearing is going on in the Supreme Court regarding the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, the bench includes Justice Sanjeev Khanna, Justice Surya Kant, Justice JB Pardiwala, Justice Dipankar Dutta, Justice Manoj Mishra and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma.

The bench is hearing the issue whether Aligarh Muslim University, which is running with financial assistance from the Central Government, can claim minority status. The bench also has to consider what are the criteria for granting minority status to an educational institution under Article 30? Can an educational institution established by parliamentary law obtain minority status under Article 30? The hearing started on Monday, which continues on Wednesday also.

AMU does not belong to any religion
On Tuesday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Central Government, argued that Aligarh Muslim University is not and cannot be a university of any particular religion or religious sect. Because any university which has been declared an institution of national importance cannot be a minority institution. The university was established in 1875. From then till now this university has always been an institution of national importance.

NAC gave A plus grading
Tushar Mehta further said that AMU is not a university functioning as a Muslim university, as it was not founded and administered by minorities. Mehta said AMU has been ranked ninth among universities and autonomous institutions in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework-2023 of the Education Ministry. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous body of the University Grants Commission, has classified the university in the A+ category.

The issue of minority status has been stuck in legal trouble for the last several decades.
The issue of minority status of AMU has been stuck in legal maze for the last several decades. In 1967, a five-judge Constitution bench in the case S. Aziz Basha vs. Union of India had held that since Aligarh Muslim University is a central university, it cannot be considered a minority institution. However, it regained its minority status when Parliament passed the AMU (Amendment) Act in 1981.

In January 2006, the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision of the 1981 law that had granted minority status to the university. The Congress-led UPA government at the Center filed an appeal against the Allahabad High Court order. The university also filed a separate petition against it.

The BJP-led NDA government told the Supreme Court in 2016 that it would withdraw the appeal filed by the previous UPA government. It had cited the apex court’s 1967 judgment in the S Aziz Basha case to claim that AMU was not a minority institution as it is a government-funded central university.

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