Petition in Supreme Court seeks to declare the 1993 notification of the Central Government declaring Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsi and Jain as minority at national level

Religious Minority

NEW DELHI: Petition filed in the Apex Court seeking directions to identify minorities at the district level for the purposes of granting benefits under Articles 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution.

The Petition seeks to declare 1993 notification of the Central Government declaring Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsi and Jain as minority at national level, is arbitrary irrational and contrary to Articles 14, 15, 21, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.

Petitioner also challenged the constitutional validity of Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, which gives the Centre power to notify minorities.

The Petitioner argued, that Hindus are numerically less in certain states and regions, but they are not given the rights of minorities. It is stated that Hindus are 1% in Ladakh, 2.75% in Mizoram, 2.77% in Lakshadweep, 4% in Kashmir, and 8.74% in Nagaland, 11.52% in Meghalaya, 29% in Arunachal Pradesh, 38.49% in Punjab, 41.29% in Manipur. But the Centre has not declared them a ‘minority’.

On the Contrary, the Centre has declared Muslims as a minority, who is 96.58% in Lakshadweep, 95% in Kashmir, and 46% in Ladakh. Similarly, the Centre has declared Christians as minority, who are 88.10% in Nagaland, 87.16% in Mizoram & 74.59% in Meghalaya. Hence, they can establish and administer educational institution of their choice as per Article 30.

The petitioner seeks a direction to the Union Government to define ‘minority’ and lay down ‘guidelines for identification of minorities at district level’, in order to ensure that only those religious and linguistic groups, which are socially economically politically non-dominant & numerically very inferior, get the benefits and protections guaranteed under Articles 29-30.

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