The much-awaited centre of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) at Kishanganj has once again been put on hold by the union law ministry till the outcome of the special leave petition pending with the Supreme Court.
After the Bihar government handed more than 224 acres of land to the AMU authorities in December last, the union ministry for human resource department (HRD) gave its approval to the proposal for the establishment of the AMU Centre at Kishanganj.
Subsequently, it wrote to the President's secretariat in April seeking the approval of the President as visitor of the university.
Since a writ petition filed by Jainarayan Kumar challenging the establishment of AMU centre at Kishanganj was pending in the Supreme Court, the President's secretariat asked the HRD ministry to seek the opinion of the law ministry whether to proceed further without awaiting further directions of the court.
In accordance with the Presidential directive, the HRD ministry referred the matter to the law ministry. As there was no stay in the writ petition, the HRD ministry recommended to the law ministry for giving a clean chit to the proposal on the lines of AMU centres already opened at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Mallapuram in Kerala.
However, the law ministry advised the HRD to await the outcome of the SLP pending before the apex court. "Since the issue with regard to the powers of the university to open new centre in Kishanganj is sub-judice before the Supreme Court, it would be advisable to await the outcome of SLP pending before the Court," the law ministry opined.
It is learnt, that the prime minister's office also sought a report in July on the legal aspects of the issue and reasons for the delay in approval. On PMO's query, the Union HRD ministry again wrote to law ministry asking them to send a reply to the Prime Minister.
The law ministry suggested to the PMO to put the issue on hold till an SC judgement is pronounced. Mohammad Aslam, president of the Human Chain Society, which is following the issue of AMU Kishanganj for past couple of years, expressed dismay over the delay "It seems the law ministry officials have taken a one-sided decision without consulting the minister, Salman Khurshid. When we asked him about the communication between HRD and his ministry, he expressed ignorance saying that the communication might have happened without his knowledge. He, however, assured to look into the matter," Aslam said.