Supreme Court to look into the matter of special status being given to educational institutions run by minorities

A bench of justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna issued notices to the related bodies waiting for their reply for the same.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, October 06, 2022, 06:49 PM IST
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Supreme Court of India | File

The Supreme Court has agreed to look into the minority status of educational institutions that are run by members of a minority community.

A bench of justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, National Medical Commission and others while seeking their replies.

The top court was hearing an appeal filed by Mahayana Theravada Vajrayana Buddhist Religious and Charitable Trust challenging the Allahabad High Court order which observed that mere administration of an educational institution by a minority would not confer on it status of a minority institution.

The high court was dealing with the petition against the Uttar Pradesh government order, where the state government refused to treat the institution as a minority institution.

"Thus for an institution to qualify as minority institution within the meaning of Uttar Pradesh Private Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fixation of Free) Act, 2006, it should be an institution not only being administered by a minority but it also ought to have been established by the minority and it should also be notified by the State as such," the high court had said.

The petitioner trust had established a medical college in 2001 and the members of the trust later converted to Buddhism in 2015 and kept on running the administration of the institution.

In its order, the high court had said that it does not find any illegality in the decision of the state government in not treating the educational institution of the trust as a minority institution so as to exclude it from the purview of the 2006 Act.

"Accordingly, we also do not see any illegality in the orders of Oct 5, 2010 and Oct 7, 2010 whereby the Director General Medical Education and Training had sought the proposal from the trust's educational institution for the purposes of fixation of fee to be charged from the students pursuing their MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2020-21," the high court held.

The high court also did not find any illegality in the state government's order of Nov 6, 2020 passed by the Department of Medical Education whereby the fee to be charged from the students of the trust's educational institution was fixed.

"Establishing an institution and administering it are two different happenings. If a society or a trust did not comprise of members of any minority community (either linguistic or religious) at the time when it established an educational institution and subsequently attains the status of a minority and starts administering such an institution, in our considered opinion, in such a situation the educational institution concerned will neither be a minority institution within the Act, 2006 nor shall it be minority educational institution within the Act, 2004," the high court had said.

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