MHRD challenges Jamia’s minority status; University claims no advance notice from Delhi HC

MHRD challenges Jamia’s minority status; University claims no advance notice from Delhi HC
Abhay Anand | Mar 26, 2018 - 7:13 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, MARCH 26: The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has filed a revised petition in the Delhi High Court opposing the minority character of the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI). The Jamia administration has claimed that the Court has not served any advance notice to them which is contrary to the rules.

The Varsity administration has alleged that it was surprised to read a report in a national daily that MHRD has withdrawn its earlier affidavit and submitted a fresh affidavit opposing the minority character of the JMI before the Delhi High Court.

The issue of the Minority character status of Jamia Millia Islamia has been pending in the Delhi High Court since 2011 through a bunch of Writ Petitions wherein the respondents are National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), MHRD, Secretary Minority Affairs, Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other bodies of the University.

The Case

A total of five Writ Petitions were filed by different people in 2011 challenging the minority status of the Jamia Millia Islamia wherein not only the Jamia administration but different groups associated with University have been made respondents.

The revised affidavit dated 5th March, 2018 has been filed by the Deputy Secretary of MHRD, Department of Higher Education, opposing the minority character of JMI.

As per official statement released by the JMI following reports, “The court record shows that advance notice of this affidavit along with the application was served only to the Petitioner’s lawyer i.e. Sh. Vijay Kumar Sharma and other respondents including VC, Registrar, JTA and others were not served with any advance notice by the Delhi High Court, contrary to the rules.”

It further states that the JMI will file its objections to the revised affidavit in accordance with due process of law. The JMI statement states, “The affidavit filed by the Central Govt in the Hon’ble High Court will be taken up during the main hearing. The matter is listed in the category of ‘Regular Hearing’ which may be taken up by the Chief Justice’s Bench in near future or later date which is not fixed. The matter will be defended by the respondents as and when it is taken up by the Hon’ble High Court.”

The University citing various cases settled on the basis of Article 30 of the Constitution of India said, “Since MHRD, Government of India is relying on Aziz Basha’s case disputing that Jamia is not established and administered by the minority but by the Act of Parliament it requires an in-depth interpretation of Article 30 of the Constitution of India which gives minority right to establish and administer an institution of their own choice which has been settled by a plethora of cases decided by the Supreme Court.”


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