'How Can This be Done?' SC Questions BJP Leader's PIL for District-Wise Identification of Minorities – The Wire

The court docket's remarks got here in response to a rivalry by lawyer and BJP chief Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay that minority standing could be awarded to Hindus in Uttar Pradesh as a result of they’re in a minority in quite a few the state's districts.
Supreme Court docket. Photograph: PTI.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court docket on Tuesday, November 22, questioned a petition in search of the designation of minority communities on a district-wise foundation, remarking that such a requirement may seem to result in one for “street-wise” designation of minority teams.
The court docket was listening to a batch of petitions in search of for the district-wise identification of minorities in India, contending that the identification of spiritual communities comparable to Christians, Muslims, Parsis, Sikhs and Buddhists as ‘nationwide minorities’ ignores the truth that so-called ‘majority’ communities, comparable to Hindus, are “socially, economically, politically non-dominant and numerically inferior” in a number of states.
The lead petition within the batch was filed by lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) chief Ashwini Upadhyay.
Upadhyay has usually discovered himself on the centre of communal flashpoints. In August final 12 months, Upadhyay was among the many six people arrested for shouting anti-Muslim slogans at a gathering at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, lots of which referred to as for outright violence in opposition to the Muslim group.
Upadhyay was accused of organising the gathering after being denied prior permission for a similar, however denied the costs after he was released on bail the following day.
In accordance with a report in Dwell Legislation, within the November 22 listening to, Upadhyay submitted to the bench of Justices S.Okay. Kaul and A.S. Oka that the Allahabad excessive court docket, in a 2007 order, had directed the Uttar Pradesh authorities to deal with all Muslim establishments making use of for grant-in-aid on the similar degree as ‘non-minority’ establishments, with out discrimination.
“For 20 districts of the state, the Excessive Court docket stated that given the share of the inhabitants, Muslims can’t be thought-about minorities. This was based mostly on 2001 census. Now, we’re in 2022. As per my info, the quantity has elevated to 26 districts now,” Dwell Legislation quoted Upadhyay as telling the court docket.
Justice Kaul, nonetheless, retorted by asking if minority standing could be thought-about district-wise, saying, “Then why not every street-wise? How can this be executed?”
Upadhyay’s lead petition additionally challenges quite a few provisions of legal guidelines coping with the identification of minorities. It challenges Sections 2(c) and a couple of(f) of the Nationwide Fee for Minorities Academic Establishments Act, 2004 in addition to the Nationwide Fee for Minorities Act, 1992, as an entire. These sections pertain to the facility of the Union authorities authorities to inform minorities.
It needs to be famous that Upadhyay has, of late, filed quite a few petitions on points of faith, lots of which have drawn criticism from the highest court docket. Notable amongst them was his petition in search of the implementation for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to make sure that uniform grounds are afforded for procedures of divorce, guardianship, adoption, and so forth.
The BJP-led Union authorities itself opposed Upadhyay’s plea in an affidavit, praying that it’s dismissed.
Different such petitions filed by Upadhyay embody one in search of instructions to deal with forced religious conversions, in addition to these on non-religious points comparable to pending criminal cases against legislators and ‘freebies’ in electoral politics.
The opposite petitions within the current batch contend that Hindus are within the minority in 10 states in India and search for the court docket to cross instructions for Hindus to be notified as minorities in these 10 states.
Pursuant to an earlier listening to within the case, the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, in March this 12 months, had filed an affidavit with the highest court docket noting that each individual state has the power to grant minority status to any linguistic or religious community.
Nevertheless, two months later in Might, the Union authorities revised its affidavit, saying that the facility to inform minorities lies with the Union authorities however can solely be taken after “vast consultations with state governments and different stakeholders” to keep away from “unintended problems sooner or later.”
Justice Kaul had expressed disappointment on the Union authorities’s ‘u-turn’, noting that extra thought ought to have gone into the matter earlier than the primary affidavit was filed. Thereafter, he directed the Union authorities to undertake the stated session course of with the states.
Additionally learn: ‘Taking Different Stands Doesn’t Help’: SC Tells Centre on Minority Tag Issue
By the point of the current listening to, nonetheless, extra solicitor normal Okay.M. Nataraj knowledgeable the court docket that whereas the consultative course of was underway and a few states/Union Territories had submitted responses, these of 19 states/UTs are but to be filed, based on a standing report filed by the minority affairs ministry.
Accepting ASG Nataraj’s request, the court docket granted six weeks’ time for the rest of responses to be filed and posted the matter for additional listening to in January subsequent 12 months.
Additional, the court docket directed the 19 states and UTs that haven’t but filed their responses to take action with the Union authorities inside 4 weeks.

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