The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking its direction to Centre to grant minority status to Hindus in eight states.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that issue needed to be decided by National Commission for Minorities and asked the petition to approach the commission.
The public interest litigation (PIL) sought minority status to Hindus in eight states- Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
The PIL, filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, has 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 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%) and 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%).
The PIL also said that minority rights of Hindus in these states are being “siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population because neither Central nor the state governments have notified Hindus as a ‘minority’ under Section 2(c) of National Commission for Minority Act.”