The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it does not support minority status for the Aligarh Muslim University.
The Supreme Court has been hearing the appeals of the University as well as the Centre against an Allahabad High Court ruling that the AMU is a central university, not a minority institution. In 1981, parliamentary legislation had given the AMU minority status, allowing it to reserve more than 50 per cent of its seats for the minority community it was established for.
Arguing on behalf of the Centre, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said: "AMU is a central university established by a central act. We have taken a conscious decision that AMU is not a minority institution."
The AMU has been given four weeks to respond to the government's stand, according to The Economic Times.
Hearing another case, in which the high court decision to lay off the appointment of the AMU vice chancellor was challenged, Chief Justice TS Thakur wondered if a university could claim minority status under the Constitution. He said this in response to the vice chancellor's lawyer's use of the university's minority status to defend its autonomy in appointments.
"A college or an educational institution, yes, but can a university be minority," the CJI asked.
The CJI then sought the Modi government's stand on the issue.