Minority Status For Hindus In Some States: Ministry Of Minority Affairs Files Status Report, Seeks More Time
The Ministry of Minority Affairs has filed a status report before the Supreme Court in the matter pertaining to the identification of minorities at the district and state levels.
In the status report, the Ministry has sought more time to enable the State Government/Union Territories and stakeholders with whom the consultative meetings have been held to finalize their considered views in the matter.
Section 2 (f) of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act 2004 has been challenged before the Supreme Court alleging that it gives unbridled power to the Centre and has been termed manifestly arbitrary, irrational, and offending.
In another petition Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for the Minorities Act 1992 has been challenged and it has been prayed to define minority and lay guidelines for identification of minorities at district level.
The Central government has held consultative meetings with all the State Governments/UTs and also with other stakeholders. Some of the state governments/UTs had requested for additional time to have wider consultations with the all the stakeholders.
The status report filed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs stated that 14 State Governments and 3 UTs had furnished their comments.
"Since the comment/views of the remaining 19 State Governments/UTs in the matter have not been received as on date, a reminder was sent to these states requesting them to furnish their comments/views at the earliest so that the considered comments/views can be placed before this Hon'ble Court.
That in view of the position stated above, it is humbly submitted that since the matter is sensitive in nature and will have far-reaching ramifications, this hon'ble Court may kindly consider allowing more time to enable the state governments/Union Territories and stakeholders with whom the consultative meetings have already been held to finalize their considered views in the matter.", the status report filed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs read.
Earlier, the Centre had stated that both Union and State Governments have the power to accord minority status to a community.
In August, the Center filed another status report seeking adjournment of the case. The Court had once observed that the Court has time and again said that minorities are to be identified at the state level and that it will have to be done on case to case basis.
The Court had earlier come down heavily on the Centre over its stand that it requires time to consult the states over the issue of identification of minorities, including Hindus, at the state level.
Cause Title- Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India & Ors.