Legal Notice from Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind to NCPCR Chairman

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind implores the media to exercise caution in disseminating unverified allegations that tarnish the reputation of organizations committed to serving the educational needs of marginalized communities

Legal Notice from Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind to NCPCR Chairman
NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanungo

New Delhi March 20, 2024 : In response to false, concocted, and defamatory statements against Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind made by NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanungo, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, through its President Maulana Mahmood Asa'd Madani, has issued a clarification. On behalf of the Jamiat, Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover has served a notice to NCPCR Chairman demanding the retraction of these statements within seven days, failing which legal action will be pursued.

In a letter addressed to Shri Priyank Kanungo dated March 20, 2024, Jamiat's legal representatives have strongly refuted the baseless allegations. These allegations, disseminated through various media channels, have tarnished Jamiat's reputation and integrity as an organization dedicated to serving the educational needs of marginalized communities, particularly from the Muslim minority.

On March 13, Shri Kanungo levied baseless accusations against Jamiat Open School in a letter to the National Institute of Open School (NIOS), branding its operations as 'organized crime' and insinuating improper financial ties with Pakistan. These defamatory remarks were further propagated during a televised interview.

The Jamiat's notice unequivocally rejects these allegations, emphasizing that the Jamiat Open School operates within legal parameters, providing formal education opportunities accredited by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to marginalized communities, particularly the Muslim minority. The initiative is aimed at empowering students who have been deprived of mainstream educational opportunities, facilitating their integration into civil society.

Mr. Kanungo's deliberate use of hostile language towards the institution of Madrasas and Dar-ul-Ulooms is unwarranted. It is essential to note that 'Madrasas' enjoy recognition in our legal scheme.In fact, in Sec. 1(5) of The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, it is specifically stated that the Act shall not apply to Madarsas, Vedic Pathsalas and other institutions primarily imparting religious instruction. There is thus statutory recognition of the validity of Madarsas, and there are various state level laws which also recognize these institutes of religious teaching.

He falsely, and maliciously termed an initiative named as 'Jamiat Open School' that only facilitates learning through NIOS for the students of different educational institutions (linguistically, 'Madrasa' in itself meaning 'educational institution') to running an 'open Madrasa'. Moreover, Jamiat does not stop children from getting formal schooling but facilitates formal education for children with informal education. By employing the above quoted false imputations against Jamiat he severely harmed the reputation.

Moreover, his insinuations regarding financial impropriety are baseless, as Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind adheres strictly to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, with a valid FCRA certificate issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Needless to say, Jamiat is wholly compliant with all requirements under the FCRA law and rules, and no money is transferred to Pakistan and neither is it used for any purposes impermissible under law, which is under constant monitoring of the FCRA wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs as per the mandate of the FCRA law. This issue is beyond the mandate of the NCPCR and as such his actions reek of malice especially given that your statements are rooted in falsehoods, surmises and untenable assertions.

The notice admonishes Mr. Kanungo's irresponsible conduct as the legally appointed Chairperson, urging restraint from further defamatory statements detrimental to organizations dedicated to societal betterment. He is hereby put on notice to immediately cease and desist from issuing any such statements, communications, representations, directions or orders, either in your personal capacity or as Chairperson of the NCPCR, which directly or indirectly cast false, baseless, untenable and per se defamatory aspersions on my Client or the Jamiat Open School.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind implores the media to exercise caution in disseminating unverified allegations that tarnish the reputation of organizations committed to serving the educational needs of marginalized communities.