SC dismisses PIL seeking redefinition of ‘minorities’ to include Hindus in 8 states

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking redefinition of ‘minorities’ to include Hindus in the states where their population is less than other communities.

A bench of Justices RF Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat asked the petitioner — advocate and Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay — to approach individual state High Courts to “redefine religious minority” in their respective state.

The PIL, filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, sought an order to define Hindus as a minority in eight states.

The PIL sought directions/guidelines for identification of minorities in the spirit of Articles 29-30 of Constitution and the 11-judge-bench order of the apex court in TMA Pai Case (2002) in order to ensure that only those religious and linguistic groups which are socially, economically and politically non-dominant and numerically very inferior, enjoy the rights and protections as guaranteed under Articles 29-30 of the Constitution of India.

It sought minority status for Hindus in eight states — 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%), where Hindus are in a minority.

During the hearing, senior advocate Vikas Singh argued that the Supreme Court should direct the government to redefine “minorities” in a state-wise manner.

Speaking to ANI after the hearing, Ashwini Upadhyay said that he will soon file his petition in the Delhi High Court.

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