The Attorney General has told the government that Delhi-based Jamia Milia Islamia is not a minority institution as it was created by an Act of Parliament, days after he told the Supreme Court that the legislature never intended the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to be a minority institution.
In his opinion to the HRD Ministry, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is understood to have also quoted a 1967 Supreme Court judgement which had said that AMU is technically not a minority institution and the same principle applied to Jamia Milia Islamia.
The HRD Ministry had approached the Law Ministry seeking an opinion on the issue. The Law Ministry had then asked the AG for his legal opinion.
The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions had declared Jamia as a religious minority institution some years ago.
Based on the order, Jamia had discontinued reservation for SC/ST and OBC students and set aside half its seats in each course for Muslim candidates.
Sources in the Law Ministry quoted Section 7 of the Jamia Milia Islamia Act of 1988 which states that “The University shall be open to persons of either sex and of whatever race, creed, caste or class, and it shall not be lawful for the University to adopt or impose on any person any test whatsoever of religious belief or profession in order to entitle him to be admitted therein as a teacher or student…”
Rohatgi had told the apex court earlier this week that in the opinion of the government, AMU is not a minority institution. He said as the executive government at the Centre, it can’t be seen as setting up a minority institution in a secular state.