The Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday filed a reply on the government's affidavit and claimed that the change of stand by the government was politically motivated.
The Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday filed a reply on the government’s affidavit and claimed that the change of stand by the government was politically motivated. The centre has sought 3 weeks to file back a reply. The affidavit stated that the battle for providing AMU with a minority status was violating the constitution. The constitution does not permit the nation to fund institutions on the basis of religion. The central government had quoted former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who during a debate in the Parliament in 1072, that if AMU’s demand for a minority status is granted, the government would be facing similar demands from other minorities, that it can’t resist.
The affidavit also cited the example of a Constitution Bench in 1967, where it was established that the AMU was set up by the Central act and is a “Central University”, not an institution for minorities. Earlier, the Supreme Court of India had given 4 weeks to the AMU to submit a response to the centre’s affidavit that asserted minority status for the university. A bench headed by Justice J S Sekhar had granted the time period after AMU’s counsel P P Rao had pleaded for it to file a counter affidavit.
Following a statement made before a bench in January this year, by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, the centre had filed its affidavit, seeking permission to withdraw its appeal against Allahabad High Court ‘s ruling that AMU was a non-minority institution. The Attorney General had firmly stated that the current government was of the view that the appeal filed by the former Congress government for retention of the minority status for the AMU deserved to be withdrawn.