In News: The Supreme Court ruled that to recognise minorities at district level is contrary to law.
- The Court was hearing a petition, claiming that Hindus do not get minority status in States where they are “socially-, economically-, politically non-dominant and numerically inferior”.
- The petition had also sought a declaration from the Court to identify minorities district wise.
- The Supreme Court referred to 11-judge Bench judgment which holds that recognization of minorities should be done at the State level.
- The judge was referring to the majority verdict given by the 11-judge Bench in the T. M. A Pai versus State of Karnataka case in 2002.
Judgements related to determination on minority status
TMA Pai Case:
- The SC had said that for the purposes of Article 30 that deals with the rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions, religious and linguistic minorities have to be considered state-wise.
Bal Patil Case:
- In 2005, the SC in its judgement in ‘Bal Patil’ referred to the TMA Pai ruling.
- The legal position clarifies that henceforth the unit for determining status of both linguistic and religious minorities would be ‘state’.
Constitutional Provisions for Minorities
- It provides that any section of the citizens residing in any part of India having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same.
- It grants protection to both religious minorities as well as linguistic minorities
- All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
- The protection under Article 30 is confined only to minorities (religious or linguistic) and does not extend to any section of citizens (as under Article 29).
- The 7th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1956 inserted this article which provides for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.
- It would be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution.
Must Read: Minority Status in India
Source: The Hindu