28-APR-2015: Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad, eminent advocate in the Supreme Court of India and presently Officiating Secretary of the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi, delivered a lecture on "Minority Status of AMU: Judicial Response" at Sir Syed Hall (North), Aligarh Muslim University.
In his lecture, Mr. Mustaq Ahmad gave details of constitutional provisions and judicial position of the cases related to AMU's minority status. Dwelling upon the provisions of University Amendment Act 1981, he said that the provision 5(2)(c) clearly provides the basis for this status which only needs to be realized by the Judiciary. He said that several Appeals have so far been filed in the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Allahabad High Court.
Mr. Ahmad said that a single judge bench of the Allahabad High Court, while hearing the write petition of some majority community students who were opposed to the decision of the university to reserve 50 percent seats for Muslims in some courses, decided against the University's stand. He said that the MHRD also endorsed the reservation policy of the university but the High Court's verdict halted its application.
Mr Ahmad said that another bench of Allahabad High Court upheld the earlier verdict after hearing University's appeal and went to the extent of quashing the Act of 1981 itself. The university went to the Supreme Court of India in appeal against the verdict of the High Court, and the case is waiting to be heard for Supreme Court's final verdict.
Earlier, Dr. Arshi Khan, Provost of the Hall, welcomed the guest and presented his introduction. Highlighting important anecdotes related to the issue, Dr Khan said that the Judiciary and Parliament needed to consider the origin, nature, structure and purpose of the establishment of the AMU in a rational manner and not by the narrow interpretation of the law. He said that the AMU is a result of the efforts made by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and his associates, a large number of who belonged to the Muslim community. He said that the fact that Sir Syed and his associates constituted a Committee for the Advancement of Muslims' Education and collected the required fund for this project, vindicates claim that AMU is an institution of national importance with a minority character.
Dr. Khan said that conditions leading to the establishment of Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College, which later transformed into the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920, cannot be ignored while determining its original character.