Hindu Minority Status: Centre Fined by Supreme Court for failing to file Counter Affidavit

Hindu om Hinduism Minority Law Insider

Khushi Doshi

Published On: February 01, 2022 at 15:45 IST

BJP Leader and Petitioner, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya, in the Case, has challenged a section of the National Commission for Minority Education Institution Act 2004 for failing to recognise minorities at the State level.

The Supreme Court fined the Central Government of Rs 7,500 for failing to file a Counter-Affidavit in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking Minority status for Hindus in eight States despite numeral instances.

According to the 2011 census, Hindus are underrepresented 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%).

As a result, the Supreme Court granted the Centre four weeks to file its Counter-Affidavit in a PIL challenging the Constitutionality of Section 2(f) of the National Commission for Minority Education Institution Act 2004 which prohibits States from recognising minorities.

“We grant one further opportunity for four weeks to file counter subject to deposit of cost of Rs. 7,500 to SCB Advocates Welfare Fund as requested by the senior counsel for the petitioner. Within the same time, rejoinder be filed within two weeks thereafter. The next hearing has been listed on March 2”, the Court stated.

The Bench stated that it is past time for the Central Government to take a stand on the issue raised in the petition and remarked, “Don’t make an excuse, Mr. Nataraj, that we find difficult to accept. On August 28, we issued notice to you. On 12.10.2020 we granted time to file counter. After that how many opportunities have gone by. You have not filed the counter for three months now, this is not fair. You have to take a stand.”

Representing the Centre, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj guaranteed the Court that the Affidavit would be filed within two weeks. He mentioned the country’s current COVID-19 scenario as the cause of delay in filing the counter.

Related Post