Minority status for Hindus: Supreme Court declines plea

Minority status for Hindus: Supreme Court declines plea”

"On one hand Hindus are deprived of their rights in these states and people from the nominated minorities community despite being the majority here are entitled to all the rights and perks".

The Supreme Court on Friday has rejected a plea seeking its order to the Central government to grant minority status to Hindus in eight states. A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi "closed" the writ petition after BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, who had filed it, prayed "for liberty to withdraw this writ petition and instead approach the National Commission for Minorities".

Earlier, Datar submitted that the national minorities' commission could not look into the issue as it pertained to eight states and representation with the commission was already pending.

The petitioner said that according to the 2011 Census, Hindus formed a minority in eight states i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5 per cent), Mizoram (2.75 per cent), Nagaland (8.75 per cent), Meghalaya (11.53 per cent), J&K (28.44 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (29 per cent), Manipur (31.39 per cent), and Punjab (38.40 per cent).

He argued that the benefits meant for the minority communities are being given away to a certain community, which is in majority, "in an illegal and arbitrary manner" "In exercise of powers conferred by the National Commission of Minority Act, the Central Government through a Notification dated October 23, 1993 notified five communities viz Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis as "minority" community".

"Jains were also added in the list in 2014, but not the Hindus", he said. "Muslims form a majority in Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir, there is significant population in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, but they are enjoying "minority" status, and the communities which are real minorities, are not getting their legitimate share", Upadhyay said.

"The Union Government offered 20,000 scholarships in field of technical education for minority students".

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