New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned till August 30 hearing on a petition seeking minority status for Hindus in 10 states. The Centre had sought time to discuss with the states. The court has given three months time.
The Central Government has filed an affidavit telling the Supreme Court that states can give minority status to any community or language in their own right. It has been said in the affidavit that the constitution of the National Commission for Minorities is completely constitutional. Minority welfare is a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution. States can also make laws on this. It is not that a law made by Parliament prevents a state from granting minority status to any community or language within its territory.
In its affidavit, the central government has given the example of Maharashtra and Karnataka, saying that Maharashtra has given minority status to the Jewish community in its state. Similarly, Karnataka has given minority languages status to Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Lamani, Konkani and Gujarati.
In the affidavit, the petition filed by Ashwini Upadhyay has been sought to be dismissed.
On January 31, expressing displeasure over the non-reply of the Centre to the petition, the court imposed a fine of seven and a half thousand rupees on the central government.
The Supreme Court had issued a notice to the Central Government on August 28, 2020. The petition has been filed by the BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.
The petition states that Hindus are a minority in 10 states but they have not been declared a minority so far. The petition has sought to identify the state-wise minorities according to the population.
The petition said that Hindus, Bahá’ís and Jews are de facto minorities in many states, but they do not have the right to open and run educational institutions of their choice due to lack of minority status there. The petition also challenges the validity of section 2(f) of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004.