Plea in High Courts of Meghalaya and Gauhati urging for the declaration of Hindus as minorities in Northeast Indian States

Team SoOLEGAL 16 Sep 2020 3:07pm

Plea in High Courts of Meghalaya and Gauhati urging for the declaration of Hindus as minorities in Northeast Indian States

Two PILs were filed in the Gauhati and Meghalaya High Courts urging that Hindus be declared as minorities in Nagaland, Mizoram, and Meghalaya  in the view  of the Supreme Court‘s ruling  in TMA Pai Foundation and Ors. V. State of Karnataka, W.P NO. 12597 of 1984, which stated that linguistic minorities to be determined on state lines.

Though Delina Khongdup has filed one of these pleas at the Meghalaya High Court, the other has been filed by Pankaj Deka through his lawyer Advocate H Talukdar at the the Gauhati High Court for relief.

 Both the petitioners in these cases have challenged the Notification by Ministry of Minority Affairs dated 23rd October 1993 which declared Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains to be minorities. The plea stated that such prevailing notification is discriminatory, infringing the right to equal opportunities in public employment, freedom of conscience and the right to profess, propagate and practice religion.

The plea said minorities in their states should be measured according to their population and not simply on national numbers. Calculation based on national statistics leads to deprivation of benefits for the minorities in a state. The PIL states that the Northeastern states are mainly inhabited by Christians.

Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution in their headings uses the term minority; they do not describe the term. The Articles define "minorities" as a “section of citizens" to be narrowly understood on the basis of Constitutional Assembly Debates, which the plea avers.

In addition, the petition defines the Center's act of non-identification of minorities as an abdication of statutory powers, in compliance with their numbers in states.

On these terms, pleas to promote the interests of Hindus and indigenous religious groups in the State have been preferred in the public interest.

Tagged: Meghalaya High Court   Northeast Indian States   Supreme Court   Delina Khongdup   Advocate H Talukdar   Gauhati High Court  
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