The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to a seven-judge bench the Centre’s petition seeking a direction to withdraw the minority tag from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
Earlier, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was overseeing the issue of determining the correctness of minority status granted to the university.
The new bench will define the parameters for granting of minority status to educational institutions.
In January 2016, Allahabad High Court struck down the provision of the Act by which the university was accorded the minority status.
The apex court was dealing with an appeal filed by the then UPA-led central government against the verdict of the lower court declassifying the varsity from the list of minority institutions.
The varsity administration had also levelled a separate plea against the high court verdict on the issue.
In 2016, the NDA government at the centre suggested the withdrawal of the petition submitted by the erstwhile UPA government.
A five-judge Constitution bench in 1968 had held that AMU was a “central university” and not a minority institution, in the Aziz Basha case. The AMU (Amendment) Act, 1981 came into force after the verdict.