The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain the PIL seeking to grant Hindus the minority status in seven states- Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and one Union territory- Lakshadweep,
The PIL, filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, had said that Hindus are minority in these states but their legitimate benefits are being siphoned of arbitrarily to the majority, because of non-identification and non-notification of minorities at the State level.
The apex court has now asked Kumar to approach the National Commission for Minorities.
“The Union Government offered 20,000 scholarships in field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, Muslims are 68.30% and government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students, but none to Hindu students,” the petition said.
As per a 1993 notification by the Centre, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis were granted minority status in India and Jains were added in the list in 2014.
Citing the 2011 Census, the petition says that Hindus are minority in eight States i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), J&K (28.44%),Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%) and Punjab (38.40%).
It further says that Muslims are majority in Lakshdweep(96.20%) Jammu & Kashmir (68.30%) and there is significant Muslim population in Assam (34.20%), West Bengal (27.5%), Kerala (26.60%), Uttar Pradesh(19.30%) and Bihar (18%).
“However, they are enjoying the ‘minority’ status, and the communities which are real minorities, are not getting their legitimate share because of non-identification and non-notification of minorities at State level, thereby jeopardizing their basic rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution,” the petition says, adding, “Christians are majority in Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland and there is significant population in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but they are treated as minority. Likewise, Sikhs are majority in Punjab and there and there is significant population in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana but they are also treated as minority,”
(Inputs from PTI)