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A plea “seeking 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” of the Constitution will be heard by the Supreme Court tomorrow.

“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,” the plea filed by Advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay reads.

It further emphasizes: “Denial of minority rights to real minorities and arbitrary and unreasonable disbursement of minority benefits to majority, infringes upon fundamental right to prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth [Article 15(1)]; impairs the right to equality of opportunity in matters related to public employment [Article 16(1)]; and freedom of conscience and right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion [Article 25(1)]. It also erodes the obligation of the State ‘to endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities’ [Article 38 (2)]. Therefore, the Government should recall the above stated Notification as it is invalid and ultra-virus the Constitution and its basic structure.”

Read the petition here.

—India Legal Bureau

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