AMU Minority Status Hearing Continues, Sibal Asserts Educational Disadvantage For Muslims

AMU Minority Status Hearing Continues, Sibal Asserts Educational Disadvantage For Muslims

Follow the ongoing AMU minority status hearing with Sibal asserting educational disadvantage for Muslims. The debate revolves around the parameters for granting minority status under Article 30 and the national character of AMU.

Siksha MUpdated: Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 09:42 PM IST
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AMU Minority Status Hearing Continues, Sibal Asserts Educational Disadvantage For Muslims | Wikipedia

On Wednesday, the continuation of the hearing on Aligarh Muslim University's (AMU) minority status, with Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal asserting that Muslims in India face a disadvantage compared to Scheduled Castes in terms of education. Sibal, representing the AMU Old Boys (Alumni) Association, argued that education is the key to empowering the Muslim community.

This marks the second day of the hearing on petitions related to AMU's minority status. The legal issues revolve around the parameters for granting minority status under Article 30 and whether a centrally-funded university established by parliamentary statute can be designated a minority institution.

The case was referred to a seven-judge bench in February 2019, following a decision by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The 1968 case of S Azeez Basha vs Union of India had previously held AMU as a Central University, denying it minority status. However, an amendment to the AMU Act later reinstated its minority status.

The Allahabad High Court subsequently declared the amendment unconstitutional, leading to AMU's appeal before the Supreme Court. In 2016, the Central government withdrew its appeal in the matter.

The seven-judge bench, during yesterday's hearing, emphasized that an educational institute's regulation by a statute does not bar it from enjoying minority status. Chief Justice (CJI) stated that without recognition, a minority institute is akin to a shell.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing the petitioners, argued that the AMU governing body mainly consists of Muslims, countering the earlier Azeez Basha decision.

Today's proceedings involved a discussion on the secular nature of the Indian Constitution, with Justice Khanna questioning whether an institute must be run as a charity to be protected under Article 30. Sibal, in response, affirmed this view, citing an eleven-judge bench's decision.

Sibal further highlighted the role of AMU in the Muslim community's development, emphasizing its contributions globally. He argued that recognition of minority educational institutes is crucial for preserving the diversity of the country's constitutional ethos.

The hearing will resume on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Union government, in written submissions, asserted that AMU has a national character and cannot be classified as an institution of any particular religion. This ongoing debate has been described as a clash between national interest and sectional interest.

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