Should non-muslims in J&K get minority tag, SC asks govt

A PIL was filed by Jammu-based advocate Ankur Sharma, alleging that benefits accruing to minorities were being taken away by Muslims, who were the majority in Jammu and Kashmir.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2017 12:18 am
kashmir, kashmir non muslims, minority status, supreme court, J&K SC, kashmir government, indian express news, india news The Supreme Court. (File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday urged the the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government to “sit together” and examine whether Hindus and other non-Muslim communities constitute a minority community in Jammu and Kashmir and hence are entitled to reservation benefits.

The bench of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar took on record that representatives from the Central government and the state government “have agreed to sit together to consider difficulties of minorities in Jammu and Kashmir and submit a proposal in four weeks”.

A PIL was filed by Jammu-based advocate Ankur Sharma, alleging that benefits accruing to minorities were being taken away by Muslims, who were the majority in Jammu and Kashmir. It claimed the rights of religious and linguistic “minorities” in the state were being “siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily” because of extension of the benefits to “unqualified sections” of the population.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said the Union Law Ministry was examining issues relating to the minority status to a community that is otherwise a majority and about constitution of minority commissions in the state.

“We do appreciate that it is a very very important issue. The manner in which minority status has been granted has to be kept in mind. If some protection is to be given to a community, who is in a better position than you to accord such protection,” the bench told the law officer.

Appearing for the state government, senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium said he had advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to demonstrate utmost “inclusiveness” and grant equal protection to all communities. “It is not a must to have a state minority commission if you want to protect a community. A state is responsible for protecting its minorities. If you are in the nature of an inclusive society, you don’t need commissions or orders. I have urged the state government to take up this issue on a priority basis and collaborate with the Central government,” Subramanium said.

The bench appreciated submissions advanced by Mehta and Subramanium and gave the two governments four weeks to formulate and submit a proposal before the court.

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  1. Sreedharan Ponnedathu Kandiyil
    Apr 16, 2017 at 8:37 pm
    This appears to be an important issue, which the governments in India have ignored till now.
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    1. P
      Piyush
      Mar 28, 2017 at 1:42 am
      Kashmiri pandit must b given minority status and must be protected in military cantoments
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        Kunjan
        Mar 28, 2017 at 4:29 am
        The reservation system itself is now absurd and has to be discarded since almost seventy years are over after introducing the same. Now the reservation is exploited by the beneficiaries and has turned out to be a system to siphon all the money and other facilities in the name of caste, creed or minority status. There should be a limit to every thing.
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          Lalit Mohan
          Mar 28, 2017 at 1:25 am
          It is indian justIce system nothing will happen even after years.
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          1. S
            SP
            Mar 28, 2017 at 7:00 am
            This question was answered by the minority minister during UPA rule . The person who was then the minority minister was so communal that the injustice to the real minority in JandK was not comprehensible to him. There are huge number of stipends and benefits for education for Muslims students and in JandK all that has been given to the majority community in that state ; the real minority students get nothing. These type of actions do raise a very basic question. Can senior government positions be given to those who follow brazenly proselytizing Abrahamic religions? Can they be ever secular in their approach. SC now is only trying to make see the reason by asking JandK and Central governments..
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