New Delhi: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Meghalaya High Court seeking directions from the government to define ‘minority’ and frame guidelines for their identification at the state level, in a spirit of the provision of Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India and the judgment of the apex court in TMA Pai case.
The petition has been filed by Delina Khongdup to secure fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21, 29, and 30 of the Constitution for the benefit of poor, disabled, economically weaker sections and socially-economically downtrodden people, as they are incapable of accessing the Court themselves.
The petitioner states that the petition has been filed for the interpretation of the word “minority” as specified in Article 29 & 30 of the Constitution, keeping in view the federal form of government in our country and for direction to respondents to identify and notify minority under the NCM Act 1992 on state wise basis in the spirit of the eleven judges Bench decision in TMA Pai case.
Khongdup states that the facts constituting a cause of action accrued on 23.10.1993 when the Central Government had notified minority in terms of Sec 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, without declaring the Hindus and other indigenous religious communities such as NiamKhasi, NiamTynrai, Songsarek, etc in the State of Meghalaya as Minority and on every date thereafter as long as these religious communities are not declared minority in the state and also on 20.02.2020 when the Hon’ble Supreme Court in public interest litigation bearing Writ Petition (Civil) No.316/2020 has given liberty to approach the alternative Court for issues involved in this petition.
The petition further sought to declare the Hindus (11.53%) and other indigenous religions of Meghalaya,like NiamKhasi, Niamtynrai, and Songsarek, which had been enumerated in census report of 2011 as other religions, consisting of only 8.71%to be as a minority on state wise basis in terms of the NCM Act 1992 and in light of the decision of the constitutional bench of the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of TMA Pai Case [(2002) 8 SCC 481].
– India Legal Bureau