Jamia's response sought by Delhi HC over plea against religion-based reservation

The Delhi high Court will hear the same matter next on July 7
File photo of Jamia Millia Islamia | (Pic: Sourced)
File photo of Jamia Millia Islamia | (Pic: Sourced)

Jamia Millia Islamia has been asked for its stand on the decision it made recently. The university approved religion-based reservations for teaching and non-teaching posts' appointments while, at the same time, putting an end to quotas under categories like Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST), as stated in a report by PTI.

Ram Niwas Singh, from the SC community, and Sanjay Kumar Meena, from the ST community, are the petitioners. The duo moved court when Jamia gave an advertisement announcing 241 non-teaching posts and it was their contention that the dropping of SC/ST category candidates from reservation policy was a "wrong" done against the constitutional mandate.

What did Delhi High Court say?
It was noted that the matter needed consideration hence, the vacation bench of Justice Vikas Mahajan asked Jamia and the Centre for their response and gave them the time of three weeks. 

The court clarified that it will not be staying the recruitment process itself and suggested, "In the meanwhile, the Respondent University is directed to keep one post vacant for the petitioners in each category [i.e. (i) Assistant Registrar, (ii) Section Officer and (iii) LDC (lower division clerk)], under which they have applied," said the court in an order passed last week.

What did the ad Jamia issued state?
The advertisement Jamia took out in April was against reservation and Jamia Milia Islamia Act which mandates the university shall be open to all classes, castes and creed, argued the petitioners' lawyer, Arun Bhardwaj.

It was Arun Bhardwaj's argument that the act states that it would not be lawful for Jamia to adopt or impose on any person any test whatsoever of religious belief or profession to entitle him to be admitted therein as a student or staff.

The petition, filed through lawyer Ritu Bhardwaj, has sought directions for quashing the resolution dated June 23, 2014 adopted by the Executive Council of JMI approving only religion-based reservation for having been passed without following the due process of law.

Jamia's standing counsel Pritish Sabharwal earlier defended the existing framework and said being a minority institution, the university was not bound by the reservation policy for SC/ST.

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