New Delhi, Mar 10 (UNI) The Lok Sabha today passed by voice vote a Bill to amend the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act to give more powers to the Commission dismissing concerns raised by the opposition that it was minority appeasement.
The Rajya Sabha had passed the Bill on March 1.
The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2005 is aimed at empowering the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions to make its functioning more effective in meeting the aspirations of the minority communities, said Minister of State for Human Resources Development M A A Fatmi, who piloted the Bill in the Lower House in the absence of his senior minister, Arjun Singh.
The Bill provides the right to establish a minority educational institution and seek affiliation to a university of choice. It also gives judicial powers to the Commission to grant permission to start an educational institution when no-objection certificate is denied in the first place.
The Bharatiya Janata Party said the proposal to give judicial powers to the Commission would deal a ''body blow'' to the judicial system in the country.
The amendment was against the spirit of judicial procedure and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, said Mr Bachi Singh Rawat (BJP).
In his reply to the discussion on the Bill, Mr Fatmi said Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis would be recognised as minorities in the country. Minority status will be considered under state government laws in states where the Hindus are in minority, he added.
There will be no reservation for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe community students in minority educational institutions.
Under the Bill, the Commission has been given the powers to seek explanation from a state government that denies no objection certificate to a minority institution.
Eds: Pick up suitably from earlier series.
UNI SN/YJ/FZ RL KP1928/1937