Supreme Court. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 20 : The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to examine a plea seeking to define the word 'minority' and insisting on framing guidelines to accord the minority status based on population of every state of a particular community.

A bench bench headed by Justices R.F. Nariman and comprising S. Ravindra Bhat allowed BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay to withdraw the plea. The top court also granted him the liberty to approach the appropriate forum to seek relief in the matter.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh representing Upadhyay contended before the court that the word 'minority' needs to be defined and followed by guidelines for their identification in every state in compliance with the top court verdict of 2002.

The counsel contended that the expression 'minority' has been used in Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution, but it has nowhere been defined.

The petitioner contended the Census 2011 state that Hindus are actual minority in Laddakh, Mizoram, Lakshdweep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur.

The court observed the remedy on this case lies elsewhere and not within the ambit of the top court. The senior advocate submitted before the bench that he would like to withdraw the plea, but would like to have liberty to move the appropriate forum.

The bench dismissed the plea as withdrawn.

The plea cited Census of 2011 states that Hindus are merely 1 per cent in Laddakh, 2.75 per cent in Mizoram, 2.77 per cent in Lakshdweep, 4 per cent in Kashmir, 8.74 per cent in Nagaland, 11.52 per cent in Meghalaya, 29 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 38.49 per cent in Punjab and 41.29 per cent in Manipur.

"But, their minority rights are being siphoned illegally and arbitrarily to the majority population because neither the Centre nor the respective state has notified them as a 'minority' under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission of Minorities Act.

Thus, Hindus are being deprived of their basic rights, guaranteed under the Article 30," the plea said.

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