'Wide Ramifications, Will Ask States': Govt to SC on Minority Status for Hindus
The Centre's reply came on a plea seeking a minority status for Hindus in certain states.
The Centre on Monday, 9 May, told the Supreme Court that it will hold “wide consultations” with states and other stakeholders to assess a plea as to whether Hindus can be granted minority status in states where their population is numerically lesser than those of other communities.
In a fresh affidavit submitted before the court in the plea seeking minority status for Hindus in states where the community's population is small, the Centre said:
"I respectfully submit that though the power is vested with the Central Government to notify minorities, the stand to be formulated by the Central Government with regard to issues raised in this group of petitions will be finalised after having a wide consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders."Centre's affidavit in Supreme Court, as quoted by LiveLaw
“It is submitted that the question involved in this writ petition has far-reaching ramifications throughout the country and, therefore, any stand taken without detailed deliberations with the stakeholders may result in an unintended complication for the country,” the affidavit, submitted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs stated.
The response differs from the previous affidavit submitted by the Centre in the case in March, which asserted that state governments have the power to identify any religious or linguistic community, including Hindus, as a "minority community" within the "said state."
'Centre Is Uncertain': SC
A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on Monday said the government has not decided what it wants to do. "Solution cannot be complex... if you want to consult, then consult (state governments)," Justice Kaul told the counsel representing the Centre, as per news agency IANS.
The Centre's submission was made in response to a 2020 petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who contended that Hindus are in minority in 10 states as per the 2011 census, and said that they should be given a minority status to avail the benefits of schemes reserved for minorities.
(With inputs from LiveLaw and IANS.)
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