Supreme Court: Seven Judge Bench to decide granting of minority status to AMU

The Supreme Court informs on Tuesday, that the seven-judge bench will decide the granting of minority status to the Aligarh Muslim University. This was passed by the three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna.

This goes back to July 2006, the then UPA government filed an appeal against the verdict issued by the Allahabad Court which pled that the AMU shall not be considered as the Minority institution. Looking at, that the University was also observed to be filing a separate plea against the High Court verdict.

In August 2016, the NDA government confirms that it will finally withdraw the appeal filed by the UPA government. Looking at that, the University argues with the court that the decision made by the NDA government to not grant the minority tag to the university was politically motivated and told that the change of the government shall not be the reason affecting the members of of the university.

The BJP argued that back in 1968 during the Aziz Basha case, the five- judge constitution bench pled that AMU was a ‘central university ‘ and not a ‘minority institution’ because it was set up by the government and not by the Muslims.

For the 1968 case, that told AMU was a central university and not a muslim university, was solved after the changes were made in 1966 amendment to AMU Act which granted the university the minority status. After that the SC dismissed the petition in 1967 confirming that AMU was not a minority institution since it was set up by the government.

After the 1968 verdict, the AMU (Amendment) Act, 1981 came to function, where it granted the minority status to the university. After this came into force, In 2006, the Allahabad High Court was observed to be putting the leg in between and removing the provision of the Act and the university got its minoroity status away.

The NDA Government also referred to the 1968 verdict, which was removed with the 1981 amendment granting the minority status to the university, which is considered unconstitutional by the High Court.

This also led to Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is appearing for AMU, discuss about the 2002 TMA Pai Case which revealed that there were no requirements established for granting the minority status to an institution. Keeping that in mind, the bench told that this issue needs to be dicussed at the seven-judge bench.

The Aligarh Muslim University Act was enacted in 1920 discontinuing Mohammedan-Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College. The Parliament passed the AMU (Amendment) Act in 1951, stating the opening of memberships to the non-Muslims into the University’s Administration.

Earlier this month only, it as reported that  Mayor of Agra Naveen Jain’ asked the Aligarh administration to prevent the university from becoming ‘a hub of terrorists’. This was referred to the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah hanging at the AMU students Union hall since 1938.

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