SC refuses to entertain plea seeking minority status to Hindus in eight states

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking grant of minority status to Hindus in eight states.

The states are Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab.

A bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, said the petitioner could press the case at the National Commission for Minorities.

The plea had been filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, and claimed that Hindus had been a minority in the eight states, but their minority rights were being siphoned off “illegally and arbitrarily” to the majority population because neither the central nor the state governments have notified them as a ‘minority’ under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

Citing the 2011 census, the petition said Hindus were a minority in the eight states. Failure to identify and recognize them as a minority leads to unreasonable disbursement of minority benefits to a majority, the plea said.

It also posed a challenge to a central government notification of 23 October 1993 under which five communities, namely Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis, were notified as minority communities. Such a notification is not only “arbitrary, irrational but also invalid and ultra vires the Constitution of India and its basic structure” and must be quashed, the petition stated.