The Central Government has sought more time in the plea for minority status for Hindus in certain states of India where they are outnumbered by other communities.

In the affidavit filed by the Central Government as a 'status report', a prayer has been made before Supreme Court to defer the hearing so that Centre can have meetings with the state governments whose response in the matter has been awaited.

Centre has submitted that it already held meetings with the State governments of Nagaland, Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, along with the Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. However, it was stated that the state governments and UTs have sought time as they wanted to have wider consultation with all the stakeholders before forming an opinion in the matter.

The affidavit also states that the comments from governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, UTs of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have not been received and the ministry proposes to hold a meeting with the state governments/UTs in ensuing weeks to have their views on the matter.

"That the Ministry proposes to hold meetings in the ensuing weeks with the remaining state governments/UTs in order to have their views in the matter also.

That in the view of the position stated above it is humbly submitted that this Hon'ble Court may kindly consider to defer the hearing and allow more time for holding meetings with other state governments/UTs, and also to enable the state governments/UTs and stakeholders with whom the consultative meetings have already been held, to finalise their considered views in the matter.", the affidavit filed by the Centre stated.

Earlier, the Centre had stated that both Union and State Governments have the power to accord minority status to a community.

Cause Title- Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India & Ors.