Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

17-January-2024-Special-Article

January 17 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

GOVERNMENT BACKS VERDICT DENYING AMU MINORITY STATUS

The recent observations by the Supreme Court (SC) on the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) bring attention to the long-standing dispute surrounding its character. The SC asserted that the administration of an educational institution regulated by a statute doesn’t affect its minority status. This insight delves into the historical context, legal challenges, and the present-day observations regarding AMU’s minority status.

            

History of AMU:

Roots of AMU:

  • Founded in 1875 as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental (MOA) College by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to address Muslim educational backwardness.
  • Attained University status in 1920 through an Act of the Indian Legislative Council, becoming Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Origin of Dispute:

  • Dispute emerged in 1967 due to amendments in 1951 and 1965, challenging the exclusive Muslim character of AMU.
  • Legal challenges argued that Muslims, having initiated AMU, had the right to manage it.

Supreme Court’s Ruling (1967):

  • SC held that AMU, being a central university, couldn’t be considered a minority institution.
  • Emphasized that the Act establishing AMU aimed at government recognition, not solely rooted in Muslim minority efforts.

Why Does the Dispute Persist?

1981 Amendment:

  • Nationwide protests by Muslims led to the 1981 amendment affirming AMU’s minority status.
  • Union government added Section 2(l) and Subsection 5(2)(c) to explicitly recognize its minority status.

Subsequent Challenges:

  • In 2005, AMU reserved medical course seats for Muslims, nullified by the Allahabad High Court, citing the 1967 SC ruling.
  • In 2016, the Union government withdrew its appeal, citing contradictions with the principles of a secular state.
  • In 2019, the matter was referred to a seven-judge Bench by the SC.

Observations of the Supreme Court:

Doesn’t Lose Minority Status if Regulated by Statute:

  • SC emphasized that a statute regulating an institution doesn’t diminish its minority status.
  • Article 30 of the Constitution doesn’t mandate exclusive administration by the minority community.

Can have Secular Administration:

  • Minority institutions can have a secular administration and admit students from diverse communities.
  • The institution need not exclusively offer religious courses.

Majority Community in Administration:

  • Presence of office-bearers from the majority community doesn’t dilute the minority character.

Supreme Court Cases Related to Minority Community:

  • TMA Pai Case: Religious and linguistic minorities considered state-wise for Article 30 purposes.
  • Bal Patil Case: Clarification in 2005 that the unit for determining minority status would be the ‘state.’
  • Inamdar Case: SC ruled that the state cannot impose its reservation policy on minority and non-minority unaided private colleges.

Constitutional and Statutory Provisions:

  • Article 29: Protects the right of any section of citizens having a distinct language, script, or culture. Applies to both religious and linguistic minorities.
  • Article 30 (1): Empowers religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions. Doesn’t aim to ghettoize the minority; it reinforces the commitment to aid Minority Institutions without discrimination.
  • Other Relevant Articles: Articles 25, 26, 27, and 28 collectively ensure freedom of religion, establishment of religious institutions, tax exemption, and freedom in educational institutions.
  • National Commission for Minorities (NCM): Established in 1992 to advise the government on minority welfare. Initially covered Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and later Jains in 2014.

Conclusion:

The SC’s recent observations on AMU’s minority status provide a nuanced perspective on the interaction between statutory regulations and minority character. Understanding the historical context, legal battles, and constitutional provisions regarding minority institutions is crucial. While the AMU case reflects a specific instance, it intertwines with broader principles safeguarded by the Constitution for the protection and development of minority communities in India.

Mains Question:

  1. Can the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) ensure the application of constitutional reservations for Scheduled Castes within religious minority institutions? Evaluate the scenario. (150 WORDS).

Details

Date:
January 17
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: