The Allahabad High Court on Friday ruled that the 2004 Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act is unconstitutional, Live Law reported.

The Act provided for madrasas in Uttar Pradesh to operate under the aegis of the state minority welfare department unlike other minority educational institutes that operate under the education department.

A division bench of Justices Vivek Chaudhary and Subhash Vidyarthi directed the state government to accommodate students studying in Islamic schools in other educational institutions.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by a person named Anshuman Singh Rathore challenging the constitutional validity of the Act.

The petitioner had objected to the management of madrasas by the Minority Welfare Department, both by the Centre and the state government under the law.

The division bench on Friday struck down the law saying that it violates the secular principles of the Constitution, reported PTI.

In October 2019, the High Court had referred concerns regarding the functioning and structure of the madrasa board to a larger bench, Live Law reported.

The court had at the time questioned whether it is arbitrary for the Minority Welfare Department to be providing madrasa education when other educational institutions, including those run by minority communities like Jains, Sikhs and Christians, are run by the education department under a separate ministry.

Out of nearly 25,000 madrasas in Uttar Pradesh, more than 16,500 are recognised by the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education, The Indian Express reported.

This development comes amid a crackdown on Islamic educational institutions by the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. In October, a Special Investigation Team was formed to investigate the madrasas’ sources of alleged foreign funding.

In December, the team claimed that 80 madrasas in the state had received around Rs 100 crore from abroad over the past three years, The Indian Express reported.