A group of petitioners moves SC challenging the government’s decision to convert madrassas into general schools

Filing the appeal against the February 4 order, Md Imad Uddin Barbhuiya and others sought a stay of the High Court order

Supreme Court of India file image. ANI

New Delhi: An appeal was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging the Gauhati High Court order upholding the Assam Repeal Act 2020, under which all provincialized (government-funded) madrassas must be converted into general schools in Assam.

On February 4, the High Court had dismissed the petition challenging the validity of the law and said that the changes brought about by legislative and executive action by the State only affected provincialized Madrassas, which are public schools, and not schools private or community.

Filing the appeal against the February 4 order, Md Imad Uddin Barbhuiya and others requested a stay of the High Court order.

“The appeal was filed through Barrister Adeel Ahmed said the High Court erroneously observed that ‘the petitioner’s madrasas being public schools and fully maintained by the state through provincialization are struck under Section 28(1) of the Constitution of India and as such cannot be permitted to give religious instruction,” the plea read.

The Act repealed two Acts – the Provincialization of Assam Education Madrassa Act 1995 and the Assam Madrassa Education Act 2018 (Provincialization of Employee Services and Reorganization of Educational Institutions). teaching of the madrassa).

The appeal said the Assam Madrassas Education (Provincialization) Act 1995 (repealed by the 2020 Act) is limited only to the state’s undertaking to pay salaries and provide benefits to teaching and non-teaching staff employed in madrassas and to the administration, management and control of such madrassas.

“The land and buildings belonging to the madrassas are borne by the claimants and the expenses of electricity and furniture are borne by the claimant madrassas themselves. The Repeal Act 2020 removes ownership coupled with recognition statute of madrassas education and the contested order dated February 12, 2021, issued by the Governor, dissolves the “Madrassas Council of the State of Assam” established in 1954. This amounts to an arbitrary exercise of legislative powers and executive and amounts to a denial of the ability of petitioners Madrassas to continue as Madrassas providing religious instruction coupled with religious education,” he added.

Such encroachment on the property rights of Madrassa petitioners without payment of adequate compensation is a direct violation of Article 30 (1A) of the Constitution of India, the appeal added.

Enforcement of the High Court judgment would result in the removal of the claimant Madrassas as the Madrassas would prevent them from admitting students for the old courses for that academic year, the plea to the Supreme Court said.

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