The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which sought to redefine 'minorities' in states where the population of Hindus is less compared to other communities.
A bench of Justices RF Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat in the SC asked the petitioner, (advocate and Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay) to approach individual state High Courts to "redefine religious minority" in their respective state.
The PIL which was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India sought an order to define Hindus as a minority in eight states. The PIL sought directions from the SC to identify minorities in a bid to ensure that only those religious groups which are socially, economically backward and numerically inferior, enjoy the rights and protections guaranteed under Articles 29-30 of the Constitution of India.
The PIL sought minority status for Hindus in eight specific states as given: Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75 %), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), J & K (28.44 %), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%) and Punjab (38.40%), where Hindus are in a minority, as per the census.
During the hearing, senior advocate Vikas Singh argued that redefining 'minorities' was not the duty of the court, but of the state government. After the hearing, the petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay told ANI that he will soon file his petition in the Delhi High Court.
The first phase of the Census 2021 will be conducted in Haryana from May 1 to June 15, 2020, disclosed at a high-level meeting on Friday. The meeting was held by the State- Level Conference of Divisional, Deputy Commissioners and Principal Census Officers to review the preparedness for Census 2021 and updation of the National Population Register (NPR). It was chaired by Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora.
During the meeting, it was revealed that around 58,000 numerators and supervisors would be deployed for canvassing the data. Further, the second phase of the Census 2021- Population Enumeration will be conducted from February 9 to February 28, 2021, with a revisional round from March 1 to 5, stated a release.
(With inputs from ANI)