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AMU Court urges HRD to withdraw prohibitory order

By TCN News,

Aligarh: Members of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Court have urged Union Ministry of Human Resource Development to immediately withdraw its order of 10th August 2011 prohibiting any meeting of the AMU Court without the Ministry’s permission. The 25 members of AMU Court, in a statement, have also urged the ministry to refrain from imposing any bans or restrictions whatsoever on the AMU Court, said Zeeshan Ahmad, Assistant Public Relations Officer, AMU.

Mr. Moinul Hassan, Member of Parliament and Member, AMU Court, has said HRD should immediately withdraw the order.

By the order issued by the MHRD in the name of the President of India, as Visitor of the Aligarh Muslim University, the University has been barred from holding any meeting of the AMU Court, despite a requirement under Section 34 of the AMU Act and Statute 15(1) that the Court shall meet annually. The Visitor’s powers are clearly mentioned in Section 13 of the AMU Act, which do not extend to imposing any departure from the Act, Statutes and Ordinances of the University. Any orders that have ‘such effect are, therefore, not only illegal, but an infringement on Parliament’s legislative powers. The orders are also undemocratic and constitute an attempt to subvert the functioning of the AMU Court.

AMU Court members said that the Act confers no powers on the Visitor to obstruct the operation of the Act and Statutes, as the Ministry’s orders have done by banning the meeting of the AMU Court, which by Section 23 (2) of the Act is “the supreme governing body” of the University. The University Act is categorical in stating that the Court has to hold “an annual meeting” to consider the annual report by Section 34 of the Act, as well as the “annual accounts” of the University” vide Section 35(2). The Statute 15(1) prescribes that “the annual meeting of the Court shall be held in the month of October every year on a date to be fixed by the Executive Council, unless some other date has been fixed by the Court itself.” The Visitor’s orders, as conveyed by the Ministry, are thus in total violation of the provisions of the Act and Statutes, which have made holding of Court meeting an annual mandatory obligation.

The Visitor’s orders, issued on the advice of the Ministry, are obviously designed to prevent the Court from having its proper representation on the Executive Council, to which it elects six members directly, and a seventh through the Hony. Treasurer elected by it under Statute 16. The Visitor’s ban on the meeting of the Court is obviously designed to keep these elections of its representatives in abeyance, so as to thwart the functioning of the Executive Council, which thereby lacks the quorum for its meetings. Such a measure is not only illegal but also unethical and an unwarranted attack on the autonomy of the University.

They demanded that the MHRD should immediately retrace its illegal steps and call upon the President, as Visitor of the University, to ensure that the provisions of the Act, Statutes and Ordinances are not trifled in her name and so to order that the ban on the meeting of the Court be immediately rescinded.

The prominent signatories to the statement included Moinul Hassan, Member of Parliament and Member, AMU Court, Mr. Saidul Haque, Member of Parliament and Member, AMU Court, Professor Najam Khalique, Dr. Suhail Sabir, Prof. M. Mursaleen, Prof. Zakia Athar Siddiqui, Dr. M. Athar Siddiqui, Dr. Shadab Khurshid, Prof. Ekram Husain, Prof. Shabahat Husain, Ms. Ashya Begum and others.