Identification of minorities at the district level

Identification of minorities at the district level

Recently, the Supreme Court has clarified that the petition for recognition of minorities at the district level is not in accordance with the law.

The Supreme Court, while hearing a petition seeking district-wise identification of minorities, said that it cannot entertain such a demand.

According to the court, this demand is contrary to the earlier demands that such identification should be done at the state level.Identification of minorities at the district level

In the Kerala Education Bill case (1958), the Supreme Court rejected the argument that minorities should be identified at the block or district level.

Further, in the T.M.A.Pai Foundation (2002), the Supreme Court held that linguistic and religious minorities are determined by considering the state as a unit and not taking into account the population of the country as a whole.

Minority status in India

  • The Constitution does not define the word minority. It makes provision for minorities only. The rights of minorities are described under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
  • Also in Article 350B, a provision has been made for the appointment of a special officer for linguistic minorities.
  • However, the central government has declared Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis as ‘minorities’ using the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act,
  • The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) Act, 2004 has been enacted to protect the educational rights of minorities.

Source – The Hindu

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