Government must support AMU minority character, says former law minister Bhardwaj

Aligarh: Strongly pitching for the restoration of Aligarh Muslim University’s minority character, former Union Law Minister and former governor Dr. Hans Raj Bhardwaj on Saturday urged the BJP-led Union Government to support the AMU in Supreme Court. He asserted that the Judgment of the Supreme Court in Aziz Basha case was an ex-party judgment as AMU was not a party to this case. Echoing his views, noted lawyer and MP K.T.S. Tulsi said the Parliament has full authority to review the judgment in this case.

Former Union Law Minister and Governor  Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj addressing at the National Convention on Minority Status

Addressing a convention on “Restoration of Minority Character of Aligarh Muslim University” organized by AMU Student’s Action Committee in the AMU campus here, Bhardwaj said that the AMU is greater than Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard. He asserted that this university was established by the Muslims of India for their educational and cultural up -gradation, and this unique cultural centre has to be preserved adding that AMU should get unilateral support from the Government of India.

Bhardwaj, who is former governor of Kerala and Karnataka, pointed out that in the AMU Act 1920 clearly defined this as a minority Institution and it was not restricted to provide education to Muslims only. Lauding the contribution of the institution, he said that AMU has a brilliant history.

Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and Member, Rajya Sabha said that there is no doubt that AMU is a minority university. He said that the judgment of the Supreme Court on Aziz Basha case is complete denial of the rights of the minorities vested in the constitution of India.

Muslims are the largest and powerful minority of this country and the Parliament has full authority to review the judgment in this case, said Tulsi .

Quoting judgment of the Supreme Court in river water dispute between Punjab and Haryana, he pointed out the Parliament removed the basic issue and the government did not lose the wisdom. He said that the democratically elected government can make a law and amend it, if necessary. He expressed the hope that justice will be done to AMU in the Supreme Court.

In his presidential remarks, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.) said that AMU is committed to restoration of the minority character and making all efforts for the last four year in this direction.

“AMU has engaged a team of lawyers and we are doing our best for restoration of the minority character”.

The VC said that he has hope in Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi that he will take a decision in favour of the university.

Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S. Ahmad Ali said that the Aligarh Muslim University is an extension of the MAO College. He cited several examples of the Minority educational institutions, which are getting grants from the Government. He expressed full faith in Judiciary and hoped that AMU will get justice in the Supreme Court.

Journalist Qurban Ali said that from 1875 to 1965 the AMU was considered as a Minority Institution but in 1965, the Careem Bhai Chaghla case changed its basic character following an amendment to the AMU Act in 1965.

He said that in 1977, election manifesto of the Bhartiya Janata Party supported the restoration of Minority Character of the University. Mr. Atal Behari Bajpayee, Mr. LK Advani, Mr. Ram Jeth Malani and Subramaniam Swami all have supported Minority character issue in the Parliament and through their election manifesto. Now suddenly the BJP has changed its position on the AMU case.

Dr. Chaudhary Shamsuddin, Former Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association also highlighted the issues on Minority Character. (muslim mirror)