The central government Monday backed the grant of minority status
to the Jamia Millia Islamia by the National Commission for
Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) - a decision currently
under the Delhi High Court's scrutiny.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv
Khanna, hearing the arguments on a bunch of petitions, fixed the
matter for hearing on Sep 27.
Counsel for central government said that it has supported the
Admitting a public interest litigation (PIL) of Vijay Kumar
Sharma, president of NGO Yuva Bharti Samiti, the division bench
issued notice to the central government, the NCMEI, the university
and others, seeking their response.
Challenging the Feb 22 order of the commission, the petition filed
through advocate Rakesh Kumar stated: "The Jamia Millia Islamia
Act incorporates and establishes the university and dissolves the
Jamia Millia Islamia Society, which was managing and running it,
and the commission has no jurisdiction or authority to declare it
a minority institution."
"The act does not provide any special consideration for a person
belonging to a particular community and the posts of the chief
policy-making body (Anjuman)... are open to persons of all castes,
creed and religions with no special consideration to Muslims..."
The PIL added that granting of minority status defeated the
purpose of the law, enacted by parliament.
The NCMEI, headed by Justice (retd) M.S.A. Siddiqui, had recently
granted minority status to the university, enabling it to reserve
up to 50 per cent seats for Muslim students and allowing it not to
reserve seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
The panel, a quasi-judicial body, had passed the order while
allowing the petitions of the Jamia Old Boys Association and the
Jamia Teachers Association. The petitions were filed in 2006.