Aligarh University Can’t Be Minority Institution, Centre Tells Supreme Court

New Delhi: Given its ‘national character,’ Aligarh Muslim University cannot be a minority institution, the Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court, which began hearing the hugely disputed question of the minority status of AMU.

It said AMU is not and cannot be a university of any particular religion or religious denomination as any university which has been declared an institution of national importance cannot be a minority institution. In his written submissions filed before the top court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the university has always been an institution of national importance, even in the pre-independence era, PTI reported.

The university was founded in 1875.

“Therefore, as per the submission of the Union of India, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is an institution of a national character. A survey of the documents surrounding the establishment of the Aligarh Muslim University and even the then existing legislative position enunciates that the AMU was always an institution having a national character,” the document said.

What the court said

  • A university which was and is clearly an institution of national importance, has to be a non-minority university.
  • AMU is not a university dominantly functioning as a Muslim university as it is not established and administered by the minority.
  • A minority educational institution is not required to implement the reservation policy under section 3 of the Central Educational Institution (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 (as amended in 2012).
  • Despite being an institution of national importance with other institutes of national importance, Aligarh Muslim University would have a separate admission procedure.
  • A large national institute like Aligarh Muslim University ought to maintain its secular origins and serve the larger interest of the nation first.
  • The process of amendments to the law, and the understanding of the character of AMU being national and non-minority has been clear.

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