Identification Of Minorities At State Level: SC Grants Rajasthan, Telangana And J&K Six Weeks As 'Last Opportunity' To Respond

Swarajya Staff

Apr 10, 2023, 04:29 PM | Updated 04:34 PM IST

The Supreme Court of India. (Wikimedia Commons)
The Supreme Court of India. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Supreme Court, while hearing a batch of pleas on Monday (10 April), granted Rajasthan, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir six weeks to submit their responses on the issue of identification of minorities at the state level

The petitions on minority identification and challenges to the validity of the National Minority Commission Act, 1992 and National Commission for Minority Educational Institutes Act, 2004 were heard by Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ahsanuddin Amanullah.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) K M Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that some states are yet to respond on the issue.

"Which are left?" Justice Kaul asked the ASG.

"Rajasthan and Telangana and some part response from J&K," ASG Nataraj was quoted as saying by Livelaw.

"Last opportunity granted to the aforementioned States to respond within 6 weeks from today. Otherwise court will foreclose filing of response as if they have nothing to say," the Court said.

The Court then listed the matter for hearing in July.

One of the pleas filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has sought guidelines for identifying minorities at state level as Hindus are minority in 10 states.

The apex court had earlier on 17 January expressed displeasure over six states and union territories, including Jammu and Kashmir, not submitting their comments on the identification of minorities at the state level.

The court directed the central government to elicit a response from the states, otherwise it will assume that the states have no input on the matter.

"We fail to appreciate why these States should not respond. We give the last opportunity to the Central government to obtain their responses failing which we will presume that they have nothing to say," the apex court had said, reports The Hindu.

Appearing for the Central government, Attorney General R Venkataramani, had referred to the status report filed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs which said that 24 States and six UTs have so far furnished their comments on the issue.

The status report, filed in the Supreme Court on 11 January 2023, said that comments from six States and UTs - Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Rajasthan and Telangana - are still awaited.

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