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Sunday, February 25, 2024

AMU minority status: Seven-judge SC bench to start hearing on Jan 9

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A Seven-Judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court of India will start hearing from January 9 the plea of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on retaining minority institution status.

The seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud will decide on the question of whether an educational institution created by a parliamentary statute enjoys minority status under Article 30 of the Constitution. Other members of the bench are Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Surya Kant, Justice JB Pardiwala, Justice Dipankar Datta, Justice Manoj Misra and Justice KV Vishwanathan.

Earlier, the bench consisted of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who retired on December 25, 2023.

In 2005, AMU reserved 50 per cent of seats in postgraduate medical courses for Muslim candidates by claiming it to be a minority institution. This was challenged in the Allahabad High Court and was set aside. In 2006, the Union government and AMU challenged the High Court’s decision before the Supreme Court.

Later, in 2016, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government withdrew itself from the appeal, contending that it did not acknowledge the minority status of the University.

Aligarh Muslim University had filed the petition through its registrar, Faizan Mustafa, with the Supreme Court to look into the issue of minority status to the University.

The Supreme Court has entrusted the case to the Constitutional Bench comprising of Seven Judges. The CJI-headed bench will start hearing the arguments tomorrow ( Jan 9) on the parameters for granting minority status to an educational institution under Article 30 of the Constitution.

Article 30 of the Constitution is – Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions.

(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, will have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.

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