The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea for minority status filed by Smartha Brahmins living in Tamil Nadu and propagating the religious philosophy of Advaita.

A Bench comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice S Ravindra Bhat upheld a Madras High Court's order which had held that Smartha Brahmins are not a religious denomination and hence, could not be accorded minority status.

"Many people follow the Advaita philosophy... In that case we will have a nation of minorities," the Bench said.

The high court on June 7, 2022 had said Smartha Brahmins were not entitled to benefits under Article 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs) of the Constitution of India.

"It is clear that there is no common organisation whatsoever by name Smartha Brahmins or any other name. It is just a caste/community without any peculiarity specifically attributable to them which distinguishes them from other Brahmins of the State of Tamil Nadu", the High Court had held.

"Hence, they cannot call themselves to be a religious denomination. Consequently, they are not entitled to the benefits under Article 26 of Constitution of India. Both the substantial questions of law are answered as against the appellants," the High Court had said.

With PTI inputs