Modi govt. opposes minority status to Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi: Opposing the religious minority status awarded to Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), the Modi government has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court. It must be noted that it is contrary to the stand taken by Congress-led UPA government.

As reported by Indian Express, the revised affidavit, filed on March 5, contests the order of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), which recognises JMI as a religious minority institution.

It must be recalled that in August 2011 the Ministry of Human Resource Development headed by Kapil Sibal, had submitted an affidavit in court certifying that then UPA-II government “respects the declaration made by NCMEI”.

Revising the affidavit, the BJP-led NDA government relies on Supreme Court’s ruling in the Azeez Basha vs Union of India. Justifying its opposition to JMI’s minority status, the affidavit observes that the first affidavit did not take into account the apex court’s judgment in the case stating that the university, instituted under an Act of parliament, was ineligible to claim minority status.

The new affidavit filed in Delhi High Court on March 13 argues that since JMI set up “by an Act of Parliament,” is funded by the Central government, and was not “set up by a minority sect, the university does fall under the realm of being a “minority institution.”

According to the Indian Express, the government’s change in view on the institution is in line with the stand of the NDA-II, which had rolled back its predecessor’s ruling on the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University in the Supreme Court in January 2016.