The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Jamia Milia Islamia University and has provided a time of three weeks for filing a counter affidavit with regard to the matter relating to the reservation in non-teaching posts in the said university. The High Court has issued notice to Jamia Millia University, the University Grants Commission and the Union of India. After hearing the stay application, the court directed the University to keep one post vacant for the petitioners in each category [i.e. –(i) Assistant Registrar, (ii)Section Officer, and, (iii)LDC], under which they have applied.

A Single Bench of Justice Vikas Mahajan observed, “It appears that the matter requires consideration. … Issue notice. Mr. Pritish Sabharwal, learned standing counsel accepts notice on behalf of the respondents. … Let counter affidavit be filed within three weeks.”

The grievance of the petitioners before the Bench was that no reservation has been extended to SC (Scheduled Caste) and ST (Scheduled Tribe) candidates by the respondent University, which is a Central University.

Senior Advocate Arun Bhardwaj with Advocates Akash Vajpai and Ritu Bhardwaj appeared on behalf of the petitioners while Standing Counsel Pritish Sabharwal and CGSC Apurv Kurup appeared on behalf of the respondents.

In this case, a petition was filed seeking the issuance of a writ of certiorari to the respondent university to quash resolution no. EC-2014 (ii) Reso.-06 dated June 23, 2014, passed by the Executive Council of the said university. It further sought direction to restore the Scheduled Castes reservation in recruitment to non-teaching posts and in promotions in the university. It also sought quashing of the advertisement dated June 29, 2023, as it was against the mandate of Section 7 of the Jamia Act and the issuance of fresh advertisement with the provisions of reservations for SC & ST in various non-teaching jobs.

As per the senior counsel for the petitioners, the respondent university advertised 241 non-teaching posts vide advertisement, and the petitioner no. 1, an SC category candidate, applied for the post of Assistant Registrar and Section Officer while petitioner no. 2, an ST category candidate, applied for the post of Lower Division Clerk. The university resolved that it was now a minority institution and was not bound to follow the Reservation Policy of the Government of India being exempted under Article 30(1) of the Constitution. It was also argued that the advertisement of 29 April is contrary to the constitutional scheme of reservation besides being contrary to the statutory scheme, in as much as, Section 7 of the Jamia Milia Islamia Act, 1988 mandates that the Respondent University shall be open to all classes, castes and creed and it shall not be lawful for the university to adopt or impose on any person any test whatsoever of religious belief or profession to entitle him to be admitted therein as a student or staff.

The High Court in the above context of the matter listed the matter before the Roster Bench on July 7, 2023. It further directed:

“In the meanwhile, the Respondent University is directed to keep one post vacant for the petitioners in each category [i.e. –(i) Assistant Registrar, (ii)Section Officer and, (iii)LDC], under which they have applied.”

Accordingly, the Court clarified that the recruitment process, as such, has not been stayed.

Cause Title- Ram Niwas Singh & Anr. v. Jamia Millia Islamia University & Ors.

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