A bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Krishna Murari and SR Bhat dismissed a plea for minority status filed by Smartha Brahmins residing mostly in Tamil Nadu and propagating the religious philosophy of Advaita.
The bench upheld a Madras High Court decision which held that Smartha Brahmins are not a religious denomination and therefore could not be accorded minority status.
It held that Smartha Brahmins are not entitled to the benefits under Article 26 of the Indian Constitution.
Using the age-old colonial test for determination of religious denomination under Article 26, the bench said, “It is clear that there is no common organisation whatsoever by name Smartha Brahmins or any other name. It is just a caste/community without any peculiarity specifically attributable to them which distinguishes them from other Brahmins of the State of Tamil Nadu.”
"You can't claim linguistic minority as well", the bench said. "In that case we will have a nation of minorities", the bench added.
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