The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) is likely to file a petition in the Supreme Court in the matter of providing reservation to SC and ST students in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
Sources said that following a meeting of the commission on Thursday, it is considering the step on behalf of SC students. The meeting was chaired by NCSC chairperson Ram Shankar Katheria and attended by AMU Vice Chancellor, officials from the HRD Ministry, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Personnel Affairs and the University Grants Commission.
“We had asked for documents from all parties which was submitted during the meeting. The commission will review all of those now and then decide on going ahead with our decision of approaching the Supreme Court since the matter is pending before it since 2005. We need to represent the views of SC and ST students before the court,” said a NCSC member.
NCSC chairperson Katheria has held that the university, which has 30,000-odd students, should provide 15 per cent of its seats to SC students and 7.5 per cent quota to STs as required of all higher education institutions under the reservation policy. The issue has been separately raised by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BJP MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam and the UP SC/ ST Commission.
The NCSC is expected to meet again by the end of this month to take a final decision on the matter.
The NCSC has maintained that AMU was granted National University status by Parliament in 1951 and that a Congress government amendment to grant minority status to the university in 1981 was struck down in 2005 by the Allahabad High Court. The AMU has dismissed these allegations, stating that it still is very much a minority institution under the 1981 amendment Act as the Allahabad High Court order was stayed by the Supreme Court in 2005.
The NCSC member added that the documents provided by the Union ministries so far confirm that AMU has been receiving funds from the Centre by virtue of being a national university. “Since it is very much a national university, it cannot refuse to implement the reservation policy by citing minority institution status,” the member said.