The Supreme Court on Friday sought Attorney General KK Venugopal’s assistance for dealing with a plea seeking state-wise population data on minority communities instead of national data, PTI reported. The top court noted senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi’s submissions that the law, which allows the declaration of a minority community on the basis of national data, was illegal.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose asked Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, the petitioner, to furnish a copy of the plea to Venugopal’s office. It also listed the matter for hearing after four weeks.
The public interest litigation plea has challenged the central government’s 26-year-old notification that have the minority status to five communities – Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis. It has also sought to declare Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, as unconstitutional as the notification was issued under the sub-section.
The BJP leader, in his plea, stated that the notification was in violation of basic fundamental rights. Upadhyay contended that Hindus – considered to be a majority community according to the national data – were in the minority in several states in the North East, and Jammu and Kashmir. According to him, the Hindu community has been deprived of benefits made available to minority communities.
The petitioner said the definition of a minority community under Article 29-30 of Constitution has been misused for political gains. He sought minority status for Hindus in seven states – Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Punjab – and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.