BJP chief strikes SC over pleas on ‘minority’ definition

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24

Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay has moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer to itself of all petitions pending in various high courts challenging the validity of Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

The Supreme Court should hear all cases on the issue to avoid the multiplicity of litigation and conflicting views on the interpretation of Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution that deal with the protection of interests of minorities and the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions, he said.

An authoritative pronouncement on this crucial issue was needed, Upadhyay – who has been filing petitions on this issue before various fora — told The Tribune. Currently, various high courts, including Delhi, Guwahati and Meghalaya, were seized of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992.

Section 2 (c) simply says, “minority”, for the purposes of this Act, means a community notified as such by the Central government. However, the Act doesn’t lay down any guidelines for determination of claim of any religious or linguistic group to be declared as “minority” under the NCM Act.

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