SC Says Govt Funded Minority Institutions Cannot Make Religious Teachings Compulsory

SC Says Govt Funded Minority Institutions Cannot Make Religious Teachings Compulsory

SC emphasized that minority institutions receiving any government grant, even as low as one percent of their budget, can only offer religious teaching to students who volunteer for it

Siksha MUpdated: Thursday, January 25, 2024, 05:39 PM IST
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SC Says Govt Funded Minority Institutions Cannot Make Religious Teachings Compulsory | File Photo

The Supreme Court stated that minority institutions, including partially funded minority institutions fully funded by the government cannot provide religious teaching to student.

The bench also clarified that once a minority institution is recognized by the government, it cannot make religious teachings compulsory for its students. The conditions arising from government grants apply to all educational institutions, regardless of minority or non-minority status, according to a report by Times of India.

The bench, including CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Surya Kant, J B Pardiwala, Dipankar Datta, Manoj Misra, and Satish Sharma, made these remarks in response to the 1951 amendment to the AMU Act, 1920, which eliminated compulsory religious teaching for Muslim students, the report stated.

Justice Khanna emphasized that minority institutions receiving any government grant, even as low as one percent of their budget, can only offer religious teaching to students who volunteer for it, TOI said.

The discussion also touched on the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and its minority status, with the solicitor general pointing out contributions from multiple communities towards the university's reserve fund.

Additionally, it was highlighted that the historical non-minority character of AMU, as defined in the AMU Act, cannot be altered based on post-Constitution considerations. The solicitor general also noted the significant government grants received by AMU, emphasizing its national importance and high ranking among universities, the TOI report added.

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