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Not our job to declare Hindus as minority: Supreme Court

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New Delhi, Aug 09: The Supreme Court has said that it is not the job of the court to declare Hindus as minorities in states where they are outnumbered by other communities.

The determination of minority status depends on several empirical factors and statistics because of which the exercise is outside the judicial domain the court also said.

Not our job to declare Hindus as minority: Supreme Court

A Bench comprising Justices Uday U Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat said that the court cannot issue a generic directive declaring Hindus a minority in a state without authentic materials on record.

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"It is not the job of the court to declare minorities. This has to be on a case-by-case basis. There cannot be a general declaration to declare Hindus as minority unless you show us something concrete about denial of rights," the Bench said.

The observations came when the court was hearing a petition filed by petitioner Devkinandan Thakur Ji.

The petition challenged the provision of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992 that restrict certain benefits and rights available for the for minorities, including the right to establish and administer institutions to six notified communities-Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Ashwini Upadhyay said that there have been judgments by the Supreme Court since 1957 that laid down that minority status for religious and linguistic minorities have to be ascertained by the state.

"The issue has gone by since 1957 (Re: Kerala Education Bill Case) when the Supreme Court said it has to be done state-wise. Why should we say or clarify anything now? The problem is that you want to make out a case when there is none," the Bench told the petitioner. In 1967 the Supreme Court held that the minority must be determined with regard to the whole population of the state.

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If you give us examples where Hindus are in minority and some directions are required, we may perhaps look at that. But you are asking for a general direction to declare Hindus as minority in some states. Why should we do that? We cannot declare any community as a minority because we don't have the statistics of different states or other facts," the court said.

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