NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Centre on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the National Commission for Minorities set up under a 1992 law.
The plea was filed by six petitioners from Uttar Pradesh alleging that the Hindu community is being discriminated against on the grounds of religion as a number of beneficiary schemes carrying a budget of Rs 4,700 crore have been initiated in favour of some religious minorities even though the Constitution does not conceive special provisions in the name of any religion.
The court gave the Centre four weeks to respond to the petition.
The petitioners stated that special benefits and advantages within the sweep of Article 15(4) of the Constitution can be provided only to those communities which are found to be ‘socially and educationally backward’ classes of citizens.
“No religion or religious groups can be promoted using taxpayers’ money and therefore, no minorities’ commission can be created,” the plea stated, adding that the central government cannot promote ‘minorityism’ as it shows inclination towards minorities and allures them to flourish by initiating welfare programmes targeted at them.
“Such an action will be detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India and give rise to separatists sowing seeds for another division of the nation,” the plea stated while seeking striking down of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 and restraining the central government from implementing and spending any money from government funds on schemes designed for minorities.