//Quashing of quota for Muslims in AMU upheld

Quashing of quota for Muslims in AMU upheld

New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday quashed the Central law, which gave Aligarh Muslim University its minority status, and held illegal the reservation of seats for Muslims in its postgraduate medical courses.

A Division Bench confirmed a single-judge order holding that the AMU Amendment Act, 1981 was unconstitutional and that the university was not a minority institution. The single judge also quashed the February 25, 2005 Union Human Resource Development Ministry notification, permitting AMU to reserve seats for Muslims in postgraduate medical courses.

 The Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.N. Ray and Justice Ashok Bhushan, passed the order on appeals filed by the Centre and AMU challenging the single-judge verdict delivered on October 4, 2005. The Bench said the 50 per cent reservation being extended to doctors in postgraduate courses was illegal and incorrect. Ultra vires The judges struck down Section l and Section 5 (2) (c) of the AMU Amendment Act, by which the status of minority institution was accorded to the university, observing that these provisions were ultra vires the Constitution. They agreed with the single judge that the Supreme Court in the Ajeez Basha case in 1968 already took the view that AMU was not a minority institution and that enactment of a law by Parliament could not overrule the judgment.

The Bench made it clear that admissions for the 2006-2007 session "will be free to all." Granting limited relief, it said students who were admitted earlier under a quota system would continue to study in the university. Leave declined for SLP The Bench declined to suspend the operation of the judgment or grant leave to AMU to file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the judgment, saying "we do not find any reason for the same."

In October last, Justice Arun Tandon said the approval given by the AMU Academic Council to reserve 50 per cent seats in postgraduate medical courses was illegal and that admissions made on the basis of this notification were also illegal. He cited the apex court ruling that AMU was not an institution established by a minority group and that it was established under the Act passed by the Central legislature. He gave the verdict on a writ petition filed by Malay Shukla and others challenging the AMU Amendment Act, the February 25, 2005 notification and the Academic Council decision endorsing it. Legal Correspondent,

The Hindu, Friday, Jan 06, 2006 http://www.hindu.com/2006/01/06/stories/2006010614350100.htm