Supreme Court today, dismissed the petition to consider ‘Hindus’ as minority in nine states including Laddakh, Mizoram, Lakshwadeep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur.
The Bench comprising of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat asked the Petitioner to approach the specific High Courts for their specific remedies.
Petitioner in person Advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay,a BJPs Spokeperson has filed a petition to consider ‘Hindus’ as minority in nine states including Laddakh, Mizoram, Lakshwadeep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur.
The claim of the Petitioner is that “Hindus are merely 1% in Laddakh, 2.75% in Mizoram, 2.77% in Lakshdweep, 4% in Kashmir, 8.74% in Nagaland, 11.52% in Meghalaya, 29% in Arunachal Pradesh, 38.49% in Punjab and 41.29% in Manipur. But, they cannot establish and administer educational institutions of their choice in spirit of Article 30(1) of the Constitution. On the other hand, muslims are 46% in Laddakh, 95% in Kashmir, 96.58% in Lakshdweep; Christians are 87.16% in Mizoram, 88.10% in Nagaland, 74.59% in Meghalaya; Buddhists are 50% in Laddakh and Sikhs are 57.69% in Punjab. But, they can establish and administer.
The argument raised by the Petitioner is that Hindus are the real minority in these places but their minority rights have been siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily. Thus Hindus are deprived of their basic human rights, guaranteed under Articles 29-30.
Several government schemes and programes aimed at the minortiy is not reaching to them becuase of this non-idenification and non-notifcation of them as minorities at state level. He stated that it is the duty of the goverment to identify and notify religious and linguistic minorities at state level so as to safeguard the rights of minorites guaranteed under Article 25-30 of the Indian constituion.
Petitioner further argued that the 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)]
In the event of all these the Petitioner hence prayed for the following before the court -:
- Define ‘minority’ and frame guidelines for their identification at State level.
- To pass any such other order/direction as the court may deem fit in the matter
-India Legal Bureau