The HC observed that allowing a Muslim minority education institute to admit students only from one sect would result in depriving more meritorious students of the opportunity.

Karnataka HC rejects Mangaluru colleges petition to admit only Sunni Muslim students
news Court Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 13:39

Kanachur Islamic Education Trust had approached the Karnataka High Court last week, with a peculiar demand. The Trust wanted state approval to allot MBBS seats under management quota exclusively to candidates from the Sunni Muslim community in the Kanachur School of Medical Sciences in Mangaluru.

However, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition. A division bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Mohammad Nawaz said that allowing a Muslim minority education institute to admit students from only one sect would result in depriving more meritorious students of the opportunity.

“If this is allowed in other religious and linguistic minority institutions by resorting to smaller groups in the minority quota in every such institution, the entire process of admission would be affected,” the bench said.

The court also pointed out that the Trust’s deed itself says that it was set up to run educational institutes for the advantage for the entire Muslim community, which is also reflected in the certificate issued to the Kanachur’s medical school in September 2015 by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution. While the undertaking carries an agreement stating that at least 66% seats will be filled by minority community students, there was no bias towards the Sunni sect in the documentation.

The judges added that this does not affect the Trust’s liberty to establish and run an educational institute for the minority community as guaranteed under Article 30(1) of the Indian Constitution.

The Trust had written to the Medical Education Department in May 2017, requesting to allot 82 of 150 management quota MBBS seats to students from the Sunni sect for 2018-19. Having been declared a religious minority institution which is managed by Sunni Muslims, the Trust argued that they have the right to indicate “choice of preference of the students”.

Further, the education institution also said that the Sunni candidates would have to procure a certificate from the revenue authorities and another one from the Sunni Jam Iyyathul Ulama in Mangaluru to avail the seats reserved for the Sunni candidates. The Trust added that it was willing to admit students of other religious and caste backgrounds in the remaining 38 government quota seats.

However, the Medical Education Department had responded on July 4 this year rejecting the plea after which the Trust filed the petition in the Karnataka High Court.

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