Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Delhi HC Asks for Govt Reply on MAEF Closure

Delhi HC Asks for Govt Reply on MAEF Closure, Latest by March 7

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday requested a response from the Union central government regarding a petition that challenges the decision to shut down the Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF).

During the court hearing, a division bench consisting of acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora requested the government counsel to submit a response on March 7, when the case is scheduled to be heard again.

The Ministry of Minority Affairs, headed by Union Minister Smriti Irani, recently closed the foundation on January 21, 2024,  based on the proposal of the Central Wakf Council.

The Wakf Council, a statutory organization responsible for managing waqf endowments in the country, has been controversial due to its open support for the ruling party’s agendas in recent years and mishandling of waqf properties.

MAEF, which received government funding, played a crucial role in providing financial aid to Muslims and other minorities, particularly for higher education.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, MAEF experienced a significant budget cut in the last few years with grants-in-aid dropping from ₹90 crore in 2021-22 to ₹1 lakh in 2022-23. It was then increased to ₹10 lakh in 2023-24 but for the year 2024-25, the foundation did not receive any funds from the government.

The same report also said that as of 2021-22, the Maulana Azad National Fellowship had aided over 6,700 candidates, disbursing ₹738.85 crores

In 2022, the Union government had previously stopped one of its programs, the Maulana Azad National Fellowship, resulting in widespread student protests.

The petition, filed by a group of citizens, describes the closure of MAEF as completely mala fide and arbitrary. 

It further argues that shutting down the foundation will deprive rightful beneficiaries, especially girls, from accessing scholarships provided under various schemes.

The litigants also strongly criticized the irregularities in the dissolution process, as the Ministry of Minority Affairs transferred the remaining funds of MAEF to the Central Wakf Council, an organization of a completely different nature.

According to the plea, “The process of dissolving any society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, should be initiated by a proposal from three-fifths of its members, as stated in Section 13 of the Act. 

Similarly, the transfer of its assets should also be determined by a three-fifth majority vote of the members, as stated in Section 14 of the similar act. 

However, the office order dated 07.02.2024 not only dictates that the MAEF should dissolve itself, but it also predetermines that the remaining funds of the MAEF will be transferred to the Consolidated Fund of India and its fixed assets will go to the Central Wakf Council, which clearly violates the legal framework outlined in the Societies Registration Act, 1860.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like