Centre withdrew an appeal filed in Supreme Court which sought to retain the minority tag for the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The appeal was filed by previous UPA-led government. Further, the current NDA government also withdrew all letters issued by MHRD under the UPA regime allowing the AMU to reserve 50 percent of its seats for Muslims in the faculty of medicine.
“This letter along with any other letter issued from the MHRD supporting the minority status of the AMU may be treated as withdrawn,” read a government affidavit filed in the top court.
In its affidavit, the government quoted former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was against reservation based on religious lines.
She had told Parliament during a debate in 1972 that ‘if this demand (minority status to AMU) is conceded, the government cannot resist similar demands from other minorities, religious as well as linguistics.’
During a hearing of the case in April, CJI TS Thakur had said, “We can understand a college or school being a minority institution.”
The move is regarded as BJP’s attempt to outreach to SC/STs and OBCs in the state ahead of the 2017 assembly polls.
AMU doesn’t offer quotas to these communities.The BJP-led government argues that granting AMU minority status is in violation of the constitution which does not permit a secular India to set up and fund institutions on religious lines.