The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking minority status for Hindus in eight states where they are in a minority.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde refused to entertain a plea filed by advocate and BJP spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhay, saying “religion must be construed as pan-India”.
Upadhyay, in his petition, sought directions to the Central government for new guidelines to identify minorities based on their population in a particular state.
He also wanted the apex court to squash a 1993 government notification that recognised Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhsts and Zorastrians as minorities.
Dismissing the plea, the CJI bench comprising of Justices B R GAvai and Surya Kant said: “Religion must be considered pan-India. What is the problem if Muslims are majority in Kashmir and minority elsewhere in the country.”
“Languages are restricted state wise. Religions don’t have state borders. We have to take a pan India approach. In Lakshadweep, the Muslims follow the Hindu law,” the bench added.
The bench said languages have been used to create states and it is not the case with religion and hence minority status cannot be granted to a community based on state-wise population.
In his petition, the BJP leader had said Hindus, who are a majority community as per national data, are a minority in several north-eastern states and in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the Hindu community is deprived of benefits which are available to minority communities in these states, the plea had said