The Supreme Court today listed the petition filed by Devkinandan Thakur Ji seeking, inter alia, identification of minorities at the district level instead of at the national level as is now being done, along with a similar pending matter, in the first week of September.

The Bench comprising of Justice U. U. Lalit and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat told the Counsel for the petitioner, theoretically, you may be right. Hindus may be in minority in many states. The Court has time and again said that minorities are to be identified at the state level. It will have to be done on case to case basis.

You give us examples of Hindus being in minority, the Bench said.

The Counsel appearing for the petitioner told the Court that similar matters are pending before the Bench of Justice Sanjay Kaul. The Bench then directed that the matter be listed with the similar matter in the first week of September.

The Bench also observed that the prayer for identification of minorities at the District level is against the Judgment of an eleven-judge Bench of the Court and is not maintainable.

The Court had on the previous hearing asked the petitioner seeking the determination of minority status at the district level, whether he has a concrete case that Hindus are being denied minority status in states like Mizoram or Kashmir.

The PIL filed by Devkinandan Thakur Ji through Advocate Ashutosh Dubey challenges the notification of minority communities, issued by the government on October 23, 1993, as arbitrary, irrational, and against Articles 14, 15, 21, 29, and 30 of the Constitution.

The petition also challenges provisions of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act and seeks direction to the Centre to lay down guidelines for the identification of minorities at the district level.

The petition also seeks direction to the Respondents to define 'minority' and lay down ' guidelines for identification of minorities at district level', in order to ensure that only those religious and linguistic groups, which are socially economically politically non-dominant and numerically very inferior, get the benefits and protections guaranteed under Articles 29 and 30.

A PIL seeking similar relief filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking a determination of minorities at the state level is already pending before the Supreme Court. The Center has filed its reply to Ashwini Upadhyay's plea stating that the State governments can declare any religious or linguistic community, including Hindus, as a minority within the said state.