ANI Photo | SC reserves verdict on minority status of Aligarh Muslim University

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved the verdict on the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University.
A seven-judge of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Surya Kant, JB Pardiwala, Dipankar Datta, Manoj Misra, and Satish Chandra Sharma, reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from all the parties.
The apex court was hearing a reference arising out of the 2006 verdict of the Allahabad High Court which held that AMU was not a minority institution.
A five-judge Constitution bench in the S Azeez Basha versus Union of India case in 1967 held that since AMU was a Central university, it cannot be considered a minority institution.
The university got back its minority status when Parliament passed the AMU (Amendment) Act in 1981.
However, in January 2006, the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision of the 1981 law by which the university was accorded minority status.
Later, the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre approached the top court in an appeal against the Allahabad High Court order. The university also filed a separate petition against it.
The NDA government led by the BJP in 2016 told the apex court that it will withdraw the appeal filed by the erstwhile UPA government.
The top court had on February 12, 2019, referred the case to a seven-judge bench.
During the hearing by the seven-judge bench, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre, told the apex court that there was no concept of minority or minority rights in 1920. The AMU Act came into being in 1920.
The Union government argued that an institution of national importance cannot be given a minority status, as it would mean that the institution would be beyond the access of several sections of the society and would exclude reservations for SC/ST/SEBC categories

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