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The Supreme Court on Monday (Feb 11) directed National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to take consideration of the 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”.

At today’s hearing, the petitioner Advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay informed the bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna that he had approached NCM as directed by the apex court in 2017 but the matter wasn’t being looked into.

The petitioner contends in the plea: “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.”

—India Legal Bureau   

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