Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Tuesday clarified that the university has never followed the policy of reserving seats for Muslims. It rather reserves 50 percent seats for internal students regardless of their religion or caste.
The University further clarified that it is being governed by AMU Act 1981 which has granted minority status to it and the minority institutions are exempted by the Article 15 (5) from implementing constitutional reservations.
The case of AMU's minority status is pending before the Supreme Court. This was conveyed by Prof Tabassum Shahab, Pro Vice Chancellor of the varsity, to Prof Ram Shankar Katheria, Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Government of India on Tuesday.
"In the case of AMU, there is a stay order of the apex court on the 2005 decision of Allahabad High Court and therefore till the Supreme Court finally determines its minority character, no change in its reservation policy is legally possible", Prof Tabassum Shahab said.
Prof Shahab further said that Aligarh Muslim University will respond to any queries and questions received from the commission about the reservation issue.
The AMU statement was issued in response to a demand by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to reserve seats for Dalit students in the varsity.
Addressing a rally in Kannuaj last Sunday, Adityanath had asked the pro-Dalit activists to raise the issue of Dalit reservation in AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia.
"Those who are saying that Dalits are being discriminated against must be asked when will they raise the issue of reservation for Dalits in Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia? When Banaras Hindu University can provide reservation to Dalits and backward students, why not AMU?"
The issue of reservation has been a matter of debate in both AMU and Jamia for quite some time. Last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had raised the issue of reservation of seats in the two universities for SC, ST, and OBCs, according to ANI.
The AMU was declared a minority institution by the AMU Amendment Act in 1981 by the Parliament. The Allahabad High Court ruled in 2005 that AMU Amendment act of 2005 is unconstitutional. The then UPA government went in appeal to Supreme Court. However, the NDA Government has withdrawn this in 2016. The matter is still pending a judgement.
BJP leaders and Hindutva extremists are in a habit of dragging AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia into controversies raising irrevalent issues. About two months ago ruckus was created by Aligarh BJP leaders who wanted Mohammaed Ali Jinnah's portrait removed from the AMU Campus.
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