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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind opposes appointment of Sikh and Jain members to NCMEI, SC issues notice to Centre

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Centre on the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s plea raising concerns over the “arbitrary” appointment of Chairperson and members of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI).

After a hearing in the matter, a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Navin Sinha and Indu Malhotra issued notice to the Centre.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, in the plea filed through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, argued that the Chairperson and the members have been appointed in an ‘arbitrary’ manner without inviting applications by issuing advertisements.

“It is relevant to mention here that out of three members, two members are from Sikh community whereas, no person from Christian community or amongst Sunni Muslims was appointed as member of the Commission,” it contended.

The NCMEIs consists a Chairperson and three members to be nominated by the Centre. When one visits the NCMEI site, it currently shows Justice Narendra Kumar Jain as Chairman and Dr. Jaspal Singh as member, with two member positions lying vacant. 

“Since the NCMEI has been set up under an Act of Parliament, it is not a department of Government rather it is a full-fledged part of the Judicial System,” the plea added.

Therefore, the plea said, it is expedient in the interest of maintenance of independence of the Judiciary that appointment of the Chairman and the members of the said Commission are done…on the recommendations of the Committee to be constituted by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India till the constitution of the National Tribunals Commission which was recommended by a Constitution bench” of the court in a 2020 case.

The petitioner said it is “Seeking to protect the ‘Judicial Independence’ by maintaining ‘Judicial Dominance’ in the appointment of Chairperson and Members of the” NCMEI “constituted under Section 3 of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004”.

In 2006, the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act was enacted to safeguard educational rights of the minorities enshrined in Article 30(1) of the Constitution. This Act gives ‘linguistic and religious minorities a fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions’.

The Jamiat has sought direction for the Centre to appoint the members of the NCMEI in place of outgoing members and all the future appointments on the recommendations of the committee constituted by the Chief Justice till the constitution of National Tribunal Commission.

“The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions is not amongst the 19 Tribunals dealt with under the Tribunals, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities, Rules 2020,” the plea said.

Discriminatory and sectarian legal regime in Education – a UPA ‘gift’

Article 30 of the Constitution was intended as a means to ensure equal treatment for minorities, but has now become a tool to discriminate against the majority Hindu community, which is denied the same fundamental right to establish and administer their educational institutions without undue interference by the state. Under guise of Article 30 and ‘social justice’, sectarian legislation like NCMEI and RTE was pushed through by UPA-1&2 after passing the 93rd amendment in 2005.

The long-term harm done by such legislation cannot be stressed enough. Such laws are de-Hinduising the majority, while fostering supremacism and separatism among the minority. Liberals call this project – ‘transforming’ society.

The deleterious effect of the RTE Act, selectively applied to Hindu-run schools only, which has led to closure of thousands of mostly low-budget schools serving underprivileged sections, and has spawned a corruption cottage industry in order to obtain ‘minority school’ certificates, is one example of how such Acts have played havoc.

Judicial overreach, tribunalisation and the left-liberal oligarchy

Another facet which this news story brings out is the gradual introduction of quasi-judicial tribunals, again something accelerated by UPA. Critics argue that these new institutions have been created with the design of bypassing elected representatives, and perpetuating the powers of an elite group of bureaucrats, judges and activists who share the Nehruvian left-liberal ideology. Guess who usually gets appointed to head these tribunals, post retirement?

Combined with the opacity of Bharat’s higher judiciary, which usurped the power of appointing judges to itself through the opaque Collegium system in 1993, this poses a serious challenge for the citizens of the country and those who believe that democracy means representation of the people’s will (the people’s will is dismissed as ‘majoritarianism’ by Nehruvian elite).

In November last year, the SC gave a ruling which further takes away the government’s control over appointments to tribunals, and hands the control to the judiciary. The SC was hearing a batch of petitions against a new law introduced by the government – Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020 – in order to streamline the appointment to and functioning of various tribunals.

Stressing on the “imperative need” to ensure that tribunals discharge the judicial functions without any “interference of the executive” whether directly or indirectly, the apex court said that a new  independent National Tribunals Commission (NTC) should be constituted and search-cum-selection committees should comprise of Chief Justice of India or his nominee as the chairperson!

This ruling was missed by most Hindu groups as far as we know. But a fundamentalist Islamic body like Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a front of the hardline Deoband seminary which many would dismiss as ‘medieval’, picked it up and displaying full alacrity and awareness of the nuances of such laws and judgements, immediately challenged NCMEI appointments! Does any Hindu religious body have the same awareness and understanding on similar issues? Do we understand what the secular state and its organs are doing to us, what the end game is?

(With IANS inputs)

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