The Centre is set to inform the court that Jamia Millia Islamia’s (JMI) was never intended to be a minority institution even as it has decided to change its earlier stand on the matter. The HRD ministry will file an affidavit in the already pending writ petitions in the Delhi High Court, according to Indian Express report. The central government earlier had supported the order of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) on February 22, 2011 which declared JMI a religious minority institution. Citiing that the insitituon was set up by an Act of Parliament and is funded by the central government, the Centre will inform court that it took the earlier stand due to an error in its understanding of the legal position.
Former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi had advised the HRD Ministry, then under Smriti Irani, that it was entitled to change its view in court and revert to the stand that JMI is not a minority institution, and that to respect the ruling of NCMEI was not in accordance with the law, Indian Express reported on January 15, 2016.
Earlier the BJP-led NDA government had contended that no institution can have both a minority status and be a central university. Apart from the government, academicians too stood divided over the move to revoke the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, PTI reported on April 5.