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No jurisdiction to notify communities as Minorities: National Commission for Minorities
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No jurisdiction to notify communities as Minorities: National Commission for Minorities

Shruti Mahajan

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has stated in a report that it does not have the jurisdiction to declare Hindus as minorities in states where they are not in the majority.

The Supreme Court, in its order of November 2017, had granted liberty to Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to make a representation before the NCM when the PIL for such a declaration had come up for hearing. In conformity with the same, Upadhyay approached the Commission making four prayers. The report by the NCM is submitted in response to Upadhyay’s plea.

His prayers included defining of minorities in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly resolution of 1992, formulation of guidelines for identifying minority communities at the state level, and declaration of Hindus as minorities in states where they are not in majority.

The sub-committee set up by the Commission examined the issue and submitted its response on the same. The report says,

“After going through the petition and considering all the relevant judgments, the sub-Committee is of the view that the prayers of the petitioner to the National Commission for Minorities are misplaced. In fact, the National Commission for Minorities does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the prayer of the petitioner.”

The Commission’s response further elaborated that the repository to declare a community as a minority lies with the Centre and this power cannot be usurped by the Commission. The body also added that in a 1999 judgment in the case Bal Patil vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had directed the Commission to desist from entertaining such claims from different communities and to instead work towards proposing ways to create such social conditions that would lead to doing away with the majority-minority divide.

Concluding thus, the Commission in its report said,

“The honourable Supreme Court has directed the National Commission for Minorities to desist from taking any decision for notifying a community as minority community. Therefore, the NCM is not able to take a decision about the prayers made by the Petitioner.”

Read the report:

NCM-report-on-Hindu-minority-plea.pdf
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