'Cite concrete examples:' SC on denying minority status to Hindus
Questioning a plea arguing that Hindus are not getting "minority" status in states where they are a minority, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday asked the petitioner to cite concrete examples to substantiate the contention. The court was hearing a plea challenging a National Commission for Minorities Act provision and said it would deal with the issue only if a concrete case is presented.
Petitioner challenged NCM Act provision
The SC bench, comprising Justices UU Lalit, SR Bhat, and Sudhanshu Dhulia, was hearing a plea filed by Devkinandan Thakur challenging an NCM Act provision. He also sought a direction from the Centre to define "minority" and lay down guidelines at the district level. Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Arvind Datar said that the general perception was that Hindus cannot be a minority.
You are directly challenging the legislation: SC
The bench said that it would deal with the petition only if concrete examples could be cited at the state level where Hindus are denied the benefits where they are in minority—such as in Mizoram, Nagaland, or Jammu and Kashmir—but not declared to be a minority. "Have you challenged the denial to any institution? You are directly challenging the legislation," the bench said.
Five communities declared minorities in 1992
The plea sought to declare the notification on the minority communities—issued by the government on October 23, 1993—as arbitrary, irrational, and contrary to Articles 14, 15, 21, 29, and 30 of the Constitution. The plea claimed that in 1992, the Centre arbitrarily notified five communities—Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis—as minorities at the national level against the spirit of the SC's TMA Pai ruling.
Hindus are minorities in 10 states: Petitioner
Datar told the bench about a plea pending in the SC, which sought directions for framing of guidelines for the state-level identification of minorities as Hindus are a minority in 10 states. The plea said that Hindus' right "is being siphoned off illegally to the majority community" in "such states" because they have not been notified as a "minority" under the NCM Act.
SC lists case after two weeks
The petitioner argued that though several communities have been notified as minorities, the Centre didn't pay heed to the fact that religious communities like Hindus were "socially, economically, politically non-dominant, and numerically inferior" in several states. The petition was filed by Thakur, a Mathura-based religious leader. The SC further observed there are linguistic minorities in every state and adjourned the matter by two weeks.Share this timeline