Minority status for Hindus: SC seeks data on specific instances of denial by states

Noting that minority status to a community is decided on the basis of population in a particular state, the Supreme Court on Monday sought “concrete examples” of instances where Hindus tried to claim minority status in those states. where they are a minority. , but was refused.

A bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia said, “In any case, if the position is denied then you can always raise a challenge. Today we are seeing this issue in the air.”

Justice Lalit remarked, “We fail to see that there is a factual position where one has been denied minority rights in a particular state,” he said, adding that several linguistic and religious groups constitute “80 per cent of the country”. Minorities can claim.

The remarks were made during the hearing of a PIL filed by religious preacher Devkinandan Thakur, who has sought a court order for identification of minorities at the district level and has challenged the provisions of the 1993 National Commission for Minorities Act.

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Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for the petitioner, argued that “difficulty comes when Hindus claim minority and are denied.” He said there is a “perception that Hindus cannot be a minority.”

Datar also argued that in many states like Punjab, Kashmir, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and Lakshadweep, even though Hindus are a minority, they are being denied minority status for their educational institutions. Is.

Justice Lalit, however, said that there is no precedent of any such case. “There has to be a specific claim and precedent. We cannot hear the matter in the air,” the judge said.

Datar also said that there was a petition before the Supreme Court on a similar issue in the past, where the court referred the matter to the National Commission for Minorities.

The court has now given the petitioner two weeks to submit the NCM report and any specific instance where minority status was denied to any Hindu educational institution in any of these nine states.

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