The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it supports the minority status granted to Jamia Millia Islamia University by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI).
In an affidavit submitted to the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv, the union ministry of human resource development said it respected the NCMEI's decision.
"The NCMEI has declared that Jamia Milia Islamia is a minority institution by virtue of its powers exercised under the relevant provisions of NCMEI Act. The government of India respects the declaration made by the commission," said the affidavit.
The court had earlier sought the government's stand on a plea challenging the NCMEI's declaration. The plea contended the commission had no jurisdiction or authority to declare it as a minority institution.
The bench asked the counsel for the parties to argue as to whether the institution was established by the members of the minority community.
"Show us whether Jamia was established by the members of Muslim community or not and whether the institution was being administered by the members of minority community," the bench said.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate KK Rai said the commission has wrongly declared the university a minority institution.
Citing the Supreme Court ruling which had said Aligarh Muslim University is not a minority institution, Rai argued the university was established by an act of Parliament and the commission has no power to decide on it.