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Petitions challenge Act on admitting 51 pc minority

Petitions challenge Act on admitting 51 pc minority

The Bombay High Court has admitted a batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of certain provisions of an Act which require minority educational bodies to admit not less than 51 per cent of the sanctioned strength of minority students in the state.

The petitions contended that the requirement under Section 6(2) of the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Educational Institution Act for an unaided minority educational institution to admit not less than 51 per cent of the sanctioned intake of minority students from within the state was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

“Even though, we have issued rule (admitted the petition), in each of these petitions, we do not deem it appropriate to grant any interim reliefs staying operation of Section 6(2) of the Act or staying Rules 3, 7 and 9 made under the Act,” a bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice M S Sonak said in a recent order.

“At least prima facie, the petitioners have failed to demonstrate why or in what manner the impugned rules are ultra vires the Act or otherwise in contravention to the provisions contained in Articles 14, 19 and 30 of the Constitution. The grant of interim relief, at this stage, will possibly throw out of gear the elaborate admission process devised under the Rules,” the bench observed.

The High Court admitted the petitions and placed them for final hearing on June 16.

Counsel for petitioners, Rafiq Dada and Anil Anturkar, submitted that Section 6(2) of the Act stands vitiated on account of excessive delegation to the executive in the matters of framing policy, and it suffers from the vice of micro classification because it restricts admission to the minority students to ‘within the state of Maharashtra’ and in any case, and is violative of the rights guaranteed by Article 30 of the Constitution of India.

Article 30 of the Constitution gives right to the minorities, whether based on religion or language, to set up educational institutions of their choice anywhere in the country.

The lawyers submitted that the rules made under the Act, in particular rules 3,7 and 9, are ultra vires the provisions contained in Section 6(2) of the Act and even otherwise are violative of Articles 14, 19 and 30 of the Constitution.

( Source – PTI )


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