Assam Residents Move to SC Against Conversion of Madrassas
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the Gauhati High Court order, which upheld the Assam Repealing Act of 2020 that turned existing provincialized madrassas in the state into regular government schools.
The plea filed by Md Imad Uddin Barbhuiya and 12 others through advocate Adeel Ahmed said, “The high court has erroneously observed that the petitioner madrassas being government schools, and wholly maintained by the State through provincialisation are hit by Article 28(1) of the Constitution of India and as such, cannot be permitted to impart religious instruction.”
The Assam Repealing Act, 2020 repealed the Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1995 and the Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation of Services of Teachers and Reorganisation of Educational Institutions) Act, 2018. The Governor of Assam granted his assent on January 27, 2021.
The plea contended that the operation of the high court judgment, which was delivered on February 4, 2022, would result in the discontinuation of the petitioner madrassas as madrassas and would prevent them from admitting students for the old courses for this academic year.
The plea contended that the Act takes away property coupled with statutory recognition of madrassa education and the impugned order dated February 2, 2021, issued by the Governor disbands the ‘Assam State Madrasa Board’ created in 1954.
“It amounts to an arbitrary exercise of both legislative and executive powers and amounts to a denial of the petitioner madrassas’ ability to continue as madrassas providing religious instruction coupled with religious education,” the plea said.
The plea argued that madrassas are minority educational institutions created by a religious minority for the purposes of imparting religious instruction as well as other categories of education to the people of India, within Assam.