M Reyaz BeyondHeadlines
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) against the recently confirmed ‘minority’ status of Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI).
Jamia, a central university by an act of the parliament, was declared a “minority educational institutional” under Article 30(1) by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on 22nd February. The debate has since begun between those who support “affirmative action” for the upliftment of Muslims in India; and those who fear eventual “ghetoisation” affecting its “secular credentials”
The PIL was filed by Vijay Kumar Sharma, president of NGO ‘Yuva Bharti Samiti’, and argued, “the NCMEI has no jurisdiction or authority to declare it a minority institution.”
JMI was conferred the minority status by the quasi judicial NCMEI which declared: “we have no hesitation in holding that the Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefits of Muslims and it never lost its identity as Muslim minority educational institutional.”
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has issued notice to the Human Resources Development Ministry, the Ministry of Minority Affairs, NCMEI, and JMI, including the Vice Chancellor, teachers’ Association and Old Boys’ Association; and sought replies from them by May 18.
Feroz Bakht Ahmed too had earlier challenged it in the HC, but later withdrew when “several imminent leaders of the community met” him and “convinced me that Jamia’s minority status is an urgent need of the hour.”