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The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on February 22 observed that the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is a minority education institution founded by the Muslims for the benefit of community. “We hold that the Jamia Millia Islamia is a minority education institution,” said the three-member bench of the NCMEI in its judgment in the case relating to the status of the university. The bench was headed by Justice M.S.A. Siddiqi. Its other two members were Mohinder Singh and Cyriac Thomas.
“We have no hesitation in holding that the Jamia was founded by the Muslims for the benefit of Muslims and it never lost its character as a Muslim education institution,” it said.
Muslim organisations, especially All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), have welcomed the finding of NCMEI.
AIMMM president Syed Shahabuddin, in a statement on February 23, said that the Mushawarat appreciates and welcomes the finding, though belated, that the J.M.I. was founded as a minority educational institution, by Muslim leaders for the benefit of the Muslim community and “that its transformation into a Central University in 1988 cannot change its original character.”
The AIMMM has recorded that “several Muslim MPs had strongly opposed the JMI Bill 1988 and suggested many amendments to restore & ensure its minority character but the Government adamantly passed the Bill by a majority vote.
“Subsequently the staff and the students of the J.M.I. launched a movement for the recognition of its minority character & even its Executive Council suggested necessary amendments. Unfortunately the former VC opposed its minority character and misled the S.C. and the NCMEI.”
The AIMMM has also urged the Central Government to “make necessary amendments urgently in the J.M.I. Act 1988, to fully recognise the historical role of the Muslim community in establishing and managing it and to restore its minority character.”
JIH Secretary-General Nusrat Ali said Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia are precious assets of the community. But it was a matter of anguish for the community when the establishment of both these community institutions was made controversial against the demands of law and justice. But National Minority Commission did a great job after announcing with consensus the minority character of Jamia Millia Islamia, by which the real status of the university has been determined and now the Government will feel ease in taking the necessary action.
Mr Ali congratulated the teachers and old boys of the university, lawyers and members of different organisations, who participated in this legal battle to establish minority character of the Jamia.
The Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Prof. P. K. Abdul Azis has also greatly applauded the decision of the NCMEI. Prof. Azis said that conferment of minority status on an institution founded by Muslims with a view to educate Muslim was a long pending demand and said that Jamia Millia Islamia rightfully deserved the minority status. “It is a landmark judgment and benefit the case of AMU minority status pending in the Supreme Court of India,” he added.