New Delhi: A seven-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on the issue of minority status of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The Chief Justice of India (CJI), DY Chandrachud-led Constitution Bench finished hearing the oral arguments advanced by Attorney General (AG) R Venkataramani and Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, the senior law officers representing the Centre and senior advocates Rajiv Dhawan, Kapil Sibal, and others, appearing for the appellants.
The seven-judge Bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Surya Kant, JB Pardiwala, Dipankar Datta, Manoj Misra and SC Sharma, was hearing a reference arising out of the 2006 decision passed by the Allahabad High Court, striking down the 1981 amendment conferring minority status on the institution.
The Parliament, by virtue of Aligarh Muslim University (Amendment) Act, 1981 conferred minority status on the institution after a five-judge Constitution Bench in the 1967 Azeez Basha case had laid down that AMU being a central university cannot claim to be a minority institution.
During the hearing, CJI Chandrachud had orally observed that an educational institution could not be deprived of minority status merely because it is being regulated by a statute made by the Centre or a state government.
“Today, in a regulated state, nothing is absolute. Merely because the right to administer is regulated by a statute, does not detract the minority character of the institution,” he had observed. (IANS)