PIL in SC seeks guidelines to define the term 'minority'

NEW DELHI: A petition has been filed questioning the validity of the Center's 26-year notification declaring five communities: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis, as minorities.

The petition filed by the defender and member of BJP Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has tried to declare as unconstitutional the section 2 (c) of the National Commission for the Law, 1992, according to which the notification was issued on October 23, 1993.

He has sought guidance to establish guidelines to define the term minority, based on the population of a community with a state sense rather than the national average.

He argued that the notification violated fundamental rights to health, education, housing and livelihoods.

It is also against equality, justice and secularism, the great golden objectives set out in the Preamble to the Constitution, he said.

The defender said he was filing the public interest litigation () on the subject, since he did not receive any response on his representation from the Union's Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Law and Justice and the National Commission on Minorities.

Upadhyay filed the new petition because the court of first instance in his petition on February 11 had asked him to approach the NCM, with the address that he will decide within three months on his representation, which sought to establish guidelines to define the term based on the minority. about the state population of a community instead of the national average.

In his petition, the BJP leader said that Hindus, who are a majority community according to national data, are a minority in several northeastern states and in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the Hindu community is deprived of the benefits that are available to minority communities in these states, the reason said, adding that NCM should reconsider the definition of minority in this context.

The reason sought to declare Article 2 (c) of the 1992 NCM Act null and void as being arbitrary, unreasonable and offensive.

The definition of minority under Article 29-30 has left the leaks in the hands of the State, which will be misused and misused for political gain, the petition said, adding that minority status will be granted to Hindus in the states where the number of the community has decreased.

According to the 2011 Census, the declaration had sought minority status for Hindus in seven states and in a Union territory where the number of the community has declined.

The petition indicated that according to the 2011 Census, Hindus are a minority in eight states: Lakshadweep (2.5 percent), Mizoram (2.75 percent), Nagaland (8.75 percent), Meghalaya (11.53 percent), Ju0026K (28.44 percent). percent), Arunachal Pradesh (29 percent), Manipur (31.39 percent) and Punjab (38.40 percent).

Their minority rights are being diverted illegally and arbitrarily to the majority of the population because neither Central nor state governments have notified Hindus as a minority under the National Commission for Minorities Act. Therefore, Hindus are deprived of their basic rights. The appeal had said.

He stated that Christians are the majority in Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland and that there is a significant population in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but they are treated as minorities.

Similarly, the Sikhs are the majority in Punjab and there is a significant population in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana, but they are treated as a minority, he said.

Muslims are the majority in Lakshadweep (96.20 percent), Ju0026K (68.30 pc) and there is a significant population of the community in Assam (34.20 pc), West Bengal (27.5 pc), Kerala (26.60 pc), Uttar Pradesh (19.30 p.m. ). ) and Bihar (18 pc).

However, they enjoy the status of minority and the communities, which are real minorities, do not obtain their legitimate part, endangering their basic rights guaranteed in articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution, the petition added.