The Jamia Millia Islamia told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that it was declared a minority educational institution in 2011 and the provision of 10 per cent reservation for students from the economically weaker section (EWS) will not be applicable to it.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Yashwant Varma was hearing a plea by a law student, who has sought 10 per cent reservation for students belonging to the EWS category at the time of admission from academic year 2023-24 in the Jamia Millia Islamia.
The bench had granted two weeks’ time to the university to file its reply to the petition filed as Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The reservation is sought in view of the provisions of Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 under Article 15(6) of the Constitution.
Senior advocate Arun Bhardwaj, appearing for petitioner Akansha Goswami, submitted that either Jamia could be a central university or a minority institution and cannot be both.
He said the admission process has begun from April and will go on till September.
The university’s standing counsel, Pritish Sabharwal, submitted that an order was passed by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions in 2011, declaring Jamia a minority educational institution.
He said the government issued a notification in 2019 that the office memorandum enabling the provision of 10 per cent reservation for EWS students in admission to educational institutions will not be applicable to minority institutions and Jamia is covered by it.
The court then posted the matter for next hearing on May 22.
Last month, the High Court had issued notice on the plea to the Centre, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the varsity.
The petitioner sought it to implement the letter the UGC had, on January 18, 2019, issued requesting Vice Chancellors of all Central universities, including Jamia Millia Islamia, to implement 10 per cent of EWS reservation at the time of admission from the academic year 2019-2020.
Goswami’s PIL claims that Jamia Millia Islamia issued a press release on February 5, 2019, refusing to implement the reservation quota for EWS students “citing its status as Minority Institution” under Article 30 of the Constitution.
The plea seeks direction on the varsity to withdraw its admission prospectus it had issued for the academic year 2023-2024 for undergraduate and graduate courses without making any provision for the 10 per cent EWS reservation and issue it afresh after making provisions for EWS reservation.
Jamia lost its identity by its conversion into the central university which was established by the Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988, the plea said.
“It is evident from the fact that Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988, had dissolved Jamia Millia Islamia Society and its memorandum of association and incorporated those provisions in the act which were completely different from its earlier MOA,” the plea states.
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