NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Thursday extended by two months the deadline given to the centre to nominate persons to all the vacant positions in the National Commission for Minorities.
Justice Rekha Palli ordered that the process, which was earlier directed to be concluded by July 31, be completed by September 30.
The order was passed after the Centre made a plea to extend the deadline by a period of three months.
The application is allowed by extending the time as given in the order dated April 23, 2021, to September 30, the judge said.
The high court had earlier directed that the nomination of all the vacant positions be filled on or before July 31 in order to ensure that the Commission functions efficiently and the purpose of the Commission as envisaged under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 is also fully given effect to.
The centre sought the extension on the account of the COVID-19 situation in the country during the months of April and May.
The counsel, appearing for the petitioner, said that he would not oppose if a reasonable extension was granted to the centre to comply with the order.
The petition filed by Abhay Ratan Bauddh had submitted that the Commission was functioning only with its Vice Chairman since October 2020 while the remaining positions including that of the chairperson and members from Buddhist, Christian, Parsi, Sikh and Jain communities remained vacant.
The plea also said that the posts started becoming vacant since April 2020 and in spite of bringing the situation to the concerned ministry's attention, nothing was done.
The centre had told the court that vacancies arose during the COVID-19 pandemic and the commission was otherwise functioning efficiently.