The Supreme Court on February 11, 2019, directed the National Commission for Minority (NCM) to take a decision within three months on the issue of identification of minorities at the state level.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising of Justice Sanjiv Khanna has asked the petitioner – BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay to re-file his representation to the minority panel which, in turn, will take a decision on it within three months from today i.e., February 11, 2019.
Upadhyay, in his plea, has sought “framing of guidelines for identification of minorities at State level to ensure that only those groups of persons which are socially, economically and politically non-dominant and numerically inferior to other groups, enjoy rights and protections guaranteed to minorities under Articles 29-30”.
In the petition, it was contended that “In exercise of the unchecked powers conferred by Section 2(c) of the NCM Act, 1992, the Central Government through the Notification dated 23.10.1993 notified only five communities viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis as ‘minority’ community, without defining minority and framing parameters for identification of minority… Hindus are real minority in eight States i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11%), J&K (28%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31%) and Punjab (38.40%). But, their minority rights are being siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to majority population because Central Government has not notified them a ‘minority’ under Section 2 (c) of the NCM Act. Therefore, Hindus are being deprived of their rights, guaranteed under the Articles 25-30. Hence, the Notification [1993-SO No.816 (E), F.No.1/11/93-MC(D)] dated 23.10.1993 and Section 2(c) of the NCM Act is not only arbitrary and unreasonable but also invalid and ultra-virus the Constitution.”