Solely state authorities can respect pursuits of assorted communities: Punjab on identification of minorities
New Delhi, January 14
Ought to non secular and linguistic minorities be recognized on the premise of their inhabitants in a state or union territory?
The Centre has filed an affidavit within the Supreme Court docket detailing the stand taken by numerous states and UTs on the contentious subject after holding consultative conferences with them and different stakeholders.
It stated 24 states and 6 UTs have furnished their views whereas feedback from governments of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Telangana and Arunachal Pradesh and UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep had been nonetheless awaited.
In accordance with the affidavit, the AAP authorities of Punjab has informed the Supreme Court docket that “Maintaining in view…the peculiar geographical and social state of affairs of the State of Punjab, solely the State Authorities is able to higher respect the pursuits, properly being and issues of various sections/communities residing within the State” even because it stated “The Parliament and the State legislature, each have a proper to enact legislation to offer for the safety of minorities and their pursuits…”
The Punjab authorities maintained that “In India totally different communities are in majority or in minority in numerous provinces/States relying upon their inhabitants. Subsequently, it turns into mandatory to guard the pursuits of the respective minority residing within the State in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.”
Apparently, the BJP-ruled states are divided over the contentious subject. Whereas Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka favoured the present coverage of permitting the Centre to determine who was a minority; Assam, Uttarakhand and Manipur stated it must be performed state smart. The UP authorities stated it’s going to don’t have any objection if any resolution was taken by the Centre within the matter, whereas Haryana stated it must be determined by the Centre on the premise of advice of the state. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu additionally stated it must be determined on the state degree.
The affidavit has been filed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in response to a PIL filed by Delhi BJP chief and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in search of minority standing for Hindus in states/UTs the place they’re much less in numbers. He additionally challenged the validity of Part 2(f) of the Nationwide Fee for Minority Training Establishment (NCMEI) Act 2004 on the bottom that it gave unbridled energy to the Centre to declare any group as minority with out there being correct pointers.
The time period ‘minority’ has additionally not been outlined below the Structure or below the Nationwide Fee for Minorities Act, 1992.
Upadhyay has sought minority standing for Hindus in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Lakshadweep on the bottom that Hindus had been numerically decrease power in these states/UTs. Contending Hindus had been in minority in a number of states and had been unable to avail the advantages of schemes meant for minorities, he additionally sought pointers for identification of minorities on the state degree. The highest court docket had requested the Centre to seek the advice of the states and UTs on the difficulty and file a report.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs stated it additionally held consultations with the Ministry of Residence Affairs, Ministry of Regulation & Justice, Ministry of Training; Nationwide Fee for Minorities (NCM) and the NCMEI on the difficulty.