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PIL filed in Supreme Court seeks minority status for Hindus in eight states

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking grant of minority status to Hindus in eight states.

The states are Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab.

The plea, filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, claims that Hindus have been a minority in the eight states but their minority rights are being siphoned off "illegally and arbitrarily" to the majority population because neither the central nor the state governments have notified them as a 'minority' under the National Commission of Minorities Act, 1992.

Citing the 2011 census, the petition said Hindus are minority in eight states i.e. Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), J&K (28.44%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%) and Punjab (38.40%). Failure to identify and recognize them as a minority leads to unreasonable disbursement of minority benefits to majority, the plea said.

It also poses a challenge to a central government notification of 23 October,1993 under which five communities, namely Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis, were notified as minority communities. Such a notification is not only "arbitrary, irrational but also invalid and ultra vires the Constitution of India and its basic structure" and must be quashed, the petition said.