The Supreme Court’s seven-judge bench will decide whether the Aligarh Muslim University and other educational institutions can be granted as minority status, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

However, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has referred the issue to a larger bench for detailing the parameters for achieving minority status to educational institutions.

After the Allahabad High Court in 2006 has given recognition to the Aligarh Muslim University with a minority status, the UPA government led by Congress had filed a petition challenges the court order.

In 2016, BJP-led NDA government has told the top court that it was withdrawing the appeal filed by UPA government, claims that the university developed by a Central Act, a justice-bench constitute of five-judges of the Supreme Court had held it as a “central university” and not as a minority institution.

However, in 1981 an amendment was made into accord the university minority status, which the Allahabad High Court has declared as unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court was informed by the Attorney General that the Aligarh Muslim University could not be categorized as a minority institution.

“It is the stand of the Union of India that AMU is not a minority university. As the executive government at the Centre, we can’t be seen as setting up a minority institution in a secular state,” it submitted adding, “the previous stand (of UPA government) was wrong.”

Then the Aligarh Muslim University had approached the top court asked if it got permit the centre to withdraw its appeal. It continued that “a decision taken at the governmental level will not be nullified by a change of government, by another political party assuming power, particularly when such a decision affects the interest of the nation as a whole.”

The university’s minority character, the oldest Muslim University in the nation means a lot to all the Muslims, said the affidavit.

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