New Delhi, July 3: Aligarh MP Satish Gautam has once again raked up a storm seeking legal documents from the varsity to prove its minority status. Gautam wrote a letter to AMU vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor, stating that the university should provide reservation to SC/ST candidates till the matter is decided by the apex court. The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is in the eye of a political storm again over not providing reservation to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.
Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and Agra MP Rama Shankar Katheria met the authorities of the university on Tuesday to discuss the issue.
The move came after Aligarh MP Satish Gautam wrote a letter to AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Monday,
stating that the university should provide reservation to SC/ST candidates till the matter is decided by the apex court.
Katheria said, “I have asked the university to produce documents or legal proof to support their claim of being a minority institution. They have one month to prove the same. In case they fail to do so, they should implement reservation or the government should stop the grant.”
The MP added, “If they are not a minority institution and are still not implementing the reservation for SC/ST candidates, then the government should not give them grants. The issue here is not about grants, but more about implementation of reservation.”
Katheria announced in Aligarh that in a week’s time, the NCSC will become party to the case of the university’s minority status, which is pending before the Supreme Court.
Recalling the events since 1968, he mentioned that the Supreme Court, while reflecting on the Azeez Basha vs Union of India case, held that AMU was not a minority institution. He also mentioned that in 1981, the government did not accept the university’s plea of being a minority institution.
“The university sought the minority institution tag in 1981 but it was not accepted. We ask them, why didn’t they implement reservations before 1981? We want a reply on these questions,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too had said “minority-run institutions like AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi don’t reserve seats for SC/STs”.
Putting forward their side of the story in the meeting, AMU officials said the university was governed by the AMU Act, 1981, which granted minority status to it and such institutions were exempted under Article 15(5) from implementing constitutional reservations.
The university has further clarified that it had never followed the policy of reserving seats for Muslims. “It rather reserves 50 per cent seats for internal students regardless of their religion or caste. In the case of AMU, there is a stay order of the apex court on the 2005 decision of the Allahabad High Court. Till the Supreme Court determines its minority character, no change in its reservation policy is legally possible,” Professor Tabassum Shahab, Pro Vice-Chancellor, AMU, said in a statement.
Shahab said the university would respond to any queries received from the commission about the reservation issue.
Katheria had met students over the quota issue in 2017 and it was decided that no action could be taken since the matter was pending before the Supreme Court.
“We have been meeting the Aligarh fraternity for quite some time over this issue. We now want legal proof of their claims,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been raising the question of reservation for SC/ST candidates in AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia University.