Published on: August 31, 2022 at 18:27 IST
The Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka has recently deferred a plea requesting minority status for Hindus in States where they are in small numbers.
This was done as per the Central Government’s request.
The Centre had filed an affidavit informing the court that it is already in consultation with the State governments of Nagaland, Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, along with the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
It is being done with the inputs of various ministries: The Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Legal affairs of Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Higher Education of Ministry of Education, National Commission for minorities and National Commission for minority educational institution.
Some states have already expressed their views on the matter. While responds are pending from the State Government of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, UT of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
As per the petitioner, the Centre’s response that – “According to the judgment of the Apex Court in TMA Pai’s case, the Central Government now cannot confer minority status,” is quite vague.
Earlier, the Ministry of Minority Affairs was informed about doing so under Article 29, 30 in those states where Hindus are in minority. However, wider consultations were needed to finalize the matter. However, after the apex court’s directions in May 2022, the centre sought for more time.
Hence, the court has listed the matter for 19th October, 2022.