Minority status for Jamia Millia Islamia: Govt to withdraw support in court

The HRD Ministry will also tell the court that Jamia Millia Islamia was never intended to be a minority institution as it was set up by an Act of Parliament, and is funded by the central government.

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: August 7, 2017 8:03 am
jamia millia islamia, jamia minority status, jmi minority status, jamia minority status, jamia university, jamia news, education news, indian express news It was in pursuance of the NCMEI order of 2011 that Jamia Millia Islamia discontinued reservation for SC/ST and OBC students and set aside half its seats in each course for Muslim candidates. (Source: Express Photo)

The central government has decided to withdraw its earlier stand in court on Jamia Millia Islamia’s (JMI) minority status, The Indian Express has learnt. The HRD Ministry will file a fresh affidavit in the writ petitions pending with the Delhi High Court, stating that its support for the order of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on February 22, 2011, declaring JMI a religious minority institution, was an error in its understanding of the legal position.

The Ministry will also tell the court that JMI was never intended to be a minority institution as it was set up by an Act of Parliament, and is funded by the central government. As first reported by The Indian Express on January 15, 2016, the Attorney General of India had advised the HRD Ministry, then under Smriti Irani, that it was entitled to change its view in court and revert to the stand that JMI is not a minority institution, and that to respect the ruling of NCMEI was not in accordance with the law.

The A-G, who was Mukul Rohatgi then, had further said that the government relies on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Azeez Basha Vs Union of India case of 1968 to support the change in its stand. In the Azeez Basha case, the apex court had said that AMU was not a minority university as it had been set up by the British legislature and not by the Muslim community. You can oppose Jamia minority status, Law ministry advises HRD. Click here to read. 

The HRD Ministry, when it was under Irani, accepted the A-G’s advice, it is learnt. The writ petitions on JMI are not listed for hearing as of date. The government will file a fresh affidavit whenever it comes up for hearing. Higher Education secretary K K Sharma did not respond to The Indian Express’ query via email on August 4. JMI vice-chancellor did not wish to comment on the issue.

The shift in the government’s view, sources in the legal community said, wasn’t too surprising as it is in line with the Centre, under the NDA-II, retracting its predecessor’s stand on the minority status of AMU before the Supreme Court in January 2016. In 2011, the NCMEI had held that “Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefit of Muslims and it never lost its identity as a Muslim minority educational institution”, and was, therefore, “covered under Article 30(1)… read with Section 2(g) of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act”. Article 30(1) of the Constitution gives all religious and linguistic minorities the right to set up and run educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities. Read Simply put: ‘Minority’ status for AMU, Jamia Millia Islamia

It was in pursuance of the NCMEI order of 2011 that JMI university discontinued reservation for SC/ST and OBC students and set aside half its seats in each course for Muslim candidates. Thirty per cent of the total seats in each course were earmarked for Muslim applicants, 10 per cent of the total seats for Muslim women applicants and another 10 per cent were reserved for Muslim Other Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes as notified under the Central government list.

When the order was legally challenged, the HRD Ministry, under then minister Kapil Sibal of the UPA government, had submitted an affidavit in Delhi High Court stating that the government “respects the declaration made by NCMEI”. According to Section 2 (o) of the JMI Act, the Jamia University was established by Muslim nationalist leaders in 1920 at Aligarh in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s call to boycott all educational institutions supported or run by the colonial regime. It eventually shifted to Delhi and was run by a registered society called the Jamia Millia Islamia society. In 1962, JMI became a deemed university. In 1988, it got the status of central university through a central law.

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  1. N
    NP
    Aug 7, 2017 at 8:44 pm
    If there is any provision in cons ution which undermines democracy then it should be brought in line with democracy. Democracy is in the preamble of the cons ution. Reservation indefinitely for ST,SC, OBCs undermines democracy and should be done away with. If it is continuing decade on decade with no end then certain adjustments should be given to other underprevileged people. (read minorities)
    Reply
    1. A
      Ananth
      Aug 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm
      Good to note that all biased, appeasing type of stand taken by the Congress Governments for long are being set right and wrong apprehensions as well as approaches made then are being corrected one by one now.This will help in better integration than the method tried out earlier.
      Reply
      1. P
        Proud Kafir
        Aug 7, 2017 at 7:43 pm
        Pak1stan is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-faith country. Now is the time for Pak1stan to realize that it doesn't belong just to Muslims, it belongs to all Pak1stanis whether they are Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians etc. Secularism for Pak1stan!
        Reply
        1. N
          NKSA
          Aug 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm
          So all these years CON party in collusion with islamists supported the bigoted status of JMI
          Reply
          1. S
            sahil
            Aug 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm
            Jhandelwalan working hard to make Muslims second class citizens as dreamt by hedwekar
            Reply
            1. P
              Proud Kafir
              Aug 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm
              Muhammad ki beti Fatima kuttte aur suwaar se chudw ti thi.
              Reply
              1. K
                Khan fatma
                Aug 8, 2017 at 11:17 am
                Kafir ki soch kafir jesi... Just go to hell
              2. A
                Ananth
                Aug 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm
                Muslims are and will be always first class citizens of India. They can't become however super citizens too. But neither they nor any other community should ever be called as minority or by any such meaning words. All ins utions which are funded and supported by government has to be under one classification only and should abide by the prevailing rules applicable to other such ins utions. Who had ins uted it is meaningless now once par ion has been accepted and Parliament has redrafted their status and are funded by the Govern,ment.
                Reply
              3. B
                Bharat
                Aug 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm
                BJP wants fighting forces not educated youth to contribute for nation building. Its polarized agenda may suit to misguided extremist but shall regret their acts till its late.
                Reply
                1. V
                  vinod
                  Aug 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm
                  At Jamia Millia Islamia, some courses are government-funded and some are self-financed. So the self-financed courses such as MBA are expensive. Similarly, some schools (from first to 12th standard) of Jamia are government-funded and some are self-financed. Jamia is neither fully government-funded nor fully self-financed.
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    Kulmohan Singh
                    Aug 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm
                    Minorities are destined to become extinct with time. Though sikh, we speak hindi at home and our kids dont umderstand punjabi
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      Proud Kafir
                      Aug 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm
                      Gobind Singh was not a guru, he was a ooo.
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        Proud Kafir
                        Aug 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm
                        Gobind Singh was not a Guru, he ws a gaaaandoooo.
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          vinod
                          Aug 8, 2017 at 10:19 am
                          Your mind is severely polluted.
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