Gauhati High Court's division bench of Chief Justice Koteshwar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury has issued a notice to the Home, Law & Minority Affair Ministry in a plea seeking identification of minorities at the State level.
The Court issued a notice while hearing a plea seeking minority status to Hindus and other indigenous religions of Nagaland and Mizoram on State-wise basis in terms of the NCM Act 1992.
The plea filed by Advocate H. Talukdar has challenged the validity of Government notification of October 23, 1993, issued under Section 2 of NCM Act, 1992 for being discriminatory, arbitrary and violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
According to the plea, no scheme prepared for the minority can become a success if the minority is not assessed state wise in terms of population of every State, as held by the Supreme Court (SC) in TMA Pai Judgement. If this is not done, actual people belonging to the minority who are being governed unit wise will be deprived of the benefits of minority schemes. In this case, in States like Mizoram and Nagaland, the benefits of minority schemes will be enjoyed in continuity by Christian majority forever, and actual minority such as Hindus and other indigenous religions of States will remain unprotected and gradually become extinct.
Appearing for petitioner Pankaj Deka, SC Lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay argued that TMA Pai Judgment is the law of the land, which very categorically clarifies that Linguistic & Religious Minorities shall be identified at State level.
Upadhyay said that the 1993 Notification on Minority Community is manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable and brazenly offends Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Indian Constitution; therefore, Court should stay the Notification immediately.
The plea has prayed for directions to authorities to define 'minority 'and frame guidelines for their identification at State level in the spirit of Article 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution.