NCM likely to reject demand for defining 'minority' on basis of state-wise population data

As directed by the Supreme Court, a three-member panel will, in a few days, give a copy of the commission's report to Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who had filed a PIL on the issue.

Published: 21st July 2019 08:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st July 2019 08:29 PM   |  A+A-

Court Hammer, judgement, order

For representational purposes.


NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is likely to reject the demand for defining minority communities on the basis of state-wise population, instead of national data, an official said Sunday.

As directed by the Supreme Court, a three-member panel will, in a few days, give a copy of the commission's report to Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the issue, the official said.

A senior commission official told PTI that defining minority communities on state-level population data will lead to a number of problems and people, in the future, might even demand that district and block-level population be considered for defining the term.

The official said that under the National Commission for Minorities Act there is no scope to change the definition of 'minority' and it is likely that the demand for defining the term minority on a state-wise basis will be rejected.

"The Supreme Court had directed us to submit the report to the petitioner in the case. The report is ready and will be handed over in the next few days," the official said.

In his petition filed in the apex court, Upadhyay had said that there was a need to define the term 'minority' on the basis of state-level population rather than the national level data.

On the apex court's directions, NCM chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi had set up the sub-committee in February to submit a report on the issue.

It was headed by commission Vice-Chairperson George Kurian.

On February 11, the court had asked Upadhyay to approach the NCM on the issue and had directed the commission to decide within three months his representation which sought to lay down of guidelines for defining the term 'minority' based on a state-wise population of a community.

He filed a fresh petition in July following which the apex court asked Attorney General K K Venugopal for assistance.

The petition said that as per the 2011 census, Hindus are in a minority in Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab.

The plea challenged government notification of 23 October 1993 in which five communities -- Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Parsi -- were declared minorities.

Later, the Jain community was also declared a minority.

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