New Delhi: Desperately in need of controversies to divert attention and hide its failures, the Narendra Modi-led right wing government has now raked up the minority character of Jamia Millia Islamia - the premium university established by Muslims and by their donations back in 1920.
However, the Modi government in a fresh affidavit filed with the Delhi High Court not only opposed the Minority Status of Jamia Millia Islamia but contrary to the well-known fact also claimed that the premium institution was not founded by the minorities – read Muslims.
The fresh affidavit filed by the Modi government is against the ruling of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) delivered on February 22, 2011 granting "minority institution" status to Jamia Milliah Islamia.
Observing that the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is a minority education institution founded by the Muslims for the benefit of community, the commission said there was no reason for not giving it a minority institution status. "We have no hesitation in holding that the Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefit of Muslims and it never lost its character as a Muslim education institution," it said.
"Jamia was established with the purpose of keeping Muslim education in Muslim hands entirely free from external control. The history leads to one conclusion that JMI was established by Muslims, for Muslims, though non-Muslims could be admitted," the judgment observed.
The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) ruling was later endorsed by the erstwhile UPA government and informed the Delhi High Court accordingly by filing an affidavit on September 20 2011. The Modi government however in its latest affidavit is trying to reverse the stand taken by the two.
As reported by The Indian Express, the fresh affidavit, filed by the Modi government on March 5, cites the Supreme Court’s decision in the Azeez Basha Vs Union of India case of 1968 to justify the change in stand. It states that the first affidavit did not take note of the Azeez Basha case, in which the apex court said that a university incorporated under an Act of Parliament cannot claim the status of a minority institution.
“In any event, the Board of Jamia Millia Islamia is elected and need not necessarily consist of majority belonging to Muslim religion. The question of it being a minority institution therefore does not arise,” states the new affidavit that was taken on record by the Delhi High Court on March 13.
“Treating a central university as a minority education institution is repugnant to law besides undermining its status and is against the basic tenet of a central university… By no stretch of imagination, Article 30(1) could be read to mean that even if an educational institution has been established by a Central Act, still the minority has the right to administer it,” says the affidavit, accessed by The Indian Express.
Citing the Supreme Court’s decision in the Azeez Basha Vs Union of India case of 1968 the Modi government, which is generally seen as anti-Muslim and anti-Minority right wing government, had in 2016 also opposed the Minority Status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
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