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SC rejects plea filed by BJP leader asking to identify Hindus as minorities

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 21, 2020 Published on February 21, 2020

In order to curb the spread of the infection in the apex court, preventive measures were immediately undertaken by the Health Ministry

The petitioner contended that the Hindus are a minority in various states. Yet, they could not enjoy benefits and privileges accorded to other minority communities.

 

The Supreme Court on February 21, Thursday, rejected a plea filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay asking to give the minority status state-wise, Hindustan Times reported. SC refused to entertain the petition that stated the word “minority” to be defined so that it can cater to only those religious and linguistic groups which are “socially, economically, and politically non-dominant and numerically inferior.”

Advocate Upadhyay contended that although the word “minority” has been used in Articles 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution that gives benefits and privileges to minority sections, the word has not been defined by the Consitution. Article 29 protects the interests of minorities and Article 30 empowers minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

The Supreme Court ordered the petitioner to withdraw its plea and approach an alternative court instead, HT report added.

The BJP leader backed his argument, mentioning that Hindus are a minority in Ladakh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Manipur. Yet, they could not enjoy benefits and privileges accorded to other minority sects.

Upadhyay noted that Hindu minorities in these states cannot establish or run their own educational institutes in the spirit of Article 30(1) of the Constitution. However, Muslims, who are in the majority in these states, enjoy the benefits of minorities as they belong to minority sects at the national level, as per HT report.

Upadhyay, therefore, claimed that minorities should be identified based on their population in the states.

According to the HT report, he placed reliance on the 2002 SC judgment in TMA Pai Foundation v. the State of Karnataka. “The legal position stands clarified that the unit for determining the status of both linguistic and religious minorities would be ‘State’,” he said in his petition.

He said granting minority status based on religion would lead to various sections clamouring for special protection and privileges which will be a jolt to the country’s secular structure.

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Published on February 21, 2020
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