On Monday the Supreme Court issued notice on a plea which was made challenging the Constitutional validity of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1972. The plea was made by Neeraj Shanker Saxena and five others, who are stated to be the followers of “Santan Vedic Dharm”. The plea is made seeking to declare the National Commission for Minorities Act 1972 as unconstitutional as according to them it is discriminatory and violative. The petition also challenges the various financial and educational grants that are being given to minorities.
Neeraj Shanker Saxena and five others filed this writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Constitutional validity of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1972. The peal was made to declare the said act as unconstitutional as according to them it is discriminatory and violative, apart from this they also challenged the various financial benefits and educational grants the minorities enjoy.
The petition alleges that followers of the Islamic religion are treated above law and undue advantage is given to their Waqf board properties by neglecting the Hindu religious establishments. They held the Central Government responsible for such treatment. They state “the Central Government is treating the Muslim community above the law and the Constitution and an undue advantage is given to them ignoring the provisions contained in Article 14, 15 and 27 of the Constitution. The Hindu trust, mutts and other institutions are being placed at a lower pedestal violating the equality clause enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution and the Constitutional injunction embodied in Article 14, 15 and 27”
The petition also claims that the petitioners and others who are born in a majority community are suffering just because they are born in a majority community. It also states that the special schemes that are there for the benefit and upliftment of the minorities are violative of the Constitution. They plead that tax payer’s money is being used for the benefit of religious groups which are named as minority groups.
They contend that if such benefits exist then it may allure people to embrace another religion and there may be demographic changes which will hinder the sovereignty and integrity of India.
- Petition heard by a two judge bench with Attorney General submitting that it needs consideration of a larger Constitutional Bench as the petition rise questions of Constitutional schemes.
- The matter to be heard by a Bench of three to examine if it requires to be referred to a larger Bench.
SC on the plea
The Supreme Court issued notice to the petition challenging the constitutional validity of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1972. The matter was heard by the bench comprising of Justice R F Nariman and Justice Ravindra Bhat. Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that the matter raises questions on Constitutional scheme for protection of minorities and thus it may require consideration of a larger Constitutional bench.
The matter will now be heard by a three judge bench which will examine if it is required to be referred to a larger bench. The petition has raised serious allegations against the Central Government and has also challenged various benefit schemes which are brought by the Central Government for the protection and upliftment of the minorities. The Supreme Court will consider all such aspects and give its view accordingly.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Writ petition (civil) of 2019 https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-369314.pdf
2. Bar and Bench, https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/hindus-suffering-for-being-born-in-majority-plea-in-sc-challenges-constitutionality-of-minorities-commission-welfare-schemes-for-religious-minorities (last visited 21st January 2020 1:53 PM)
3. First Post, https://www.firstpost.com/india/hindus-suffering-because-of-being-born-in-majority-sc-issues-notice-to-centre-over-petition-challenging-welafare-schemes-for-religious-minorities-7932981.html (last visited 21st January 2020 1:53 PM)