Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) today opposed in the Supreme Court the NDA government’s stand to withdraw the appeal filed by the erstwhile UPA regime against the Allahabad High Court order divesting the varsity of its minority tag, saying the decision was based on “political considerations.”
AMU, in its affidavit, said a decision taken at the government level will not be nullified by a change of government led by another political party, particularly when such a decision affected the interests of the nation as a whole.
The university, while responding to the Centre’s plea seeking withdrawal of appeal from the apex court, said the government cannot question the validity of a law made by Parliament or doubt the wisdom of Parliament in making the law, more so before a court of law.
It also opposed the ground taken by the NDA government that AMU was set up by a central act and that a five-judge constitution bench in 1967 in the Aziz Basha case had held that it was a “central university” and not a minority institution, saying the High Court had wrongly struck down certain sections of the Aligarh Muslim University Act, 1920 to take away its minority tag.
Elaborating on the ground for opposing the Centre’s plea, the varsity said the appeal filed by the UPA government cannot be withdrawn by the NDA government.
“Considering these facts and the importance of the issues involved in the present appeal, the decision taken after change of Government at the Centre, by the present NDA Government led by a member of the Bharatiya Janta Party, does not appear to be a sound decision based on cogent and valid reasons, but one based on political considerations,” the varsity said in its affidavit.
The AMU affidavit quoted the Centre’s affidavit as saying: “simply asserting that the AMU has been established by the minority community is an illegitimate usurpation of judicial power.”
It said such a plea on the part of the “executive wing of the State accusing Parliament of illegitimate usurpation of judicial power is unconstitutional, highly irreverential and irresponsible apart from being ex facie improper. It amounts to contempt of Parliament.