SC: Linguistic, religious minorities state-specific

The Supreme Court said it was a settled position that religious and linguistic minority status of a community is to be decided state-wise on the basis of state population and it would be a travesty of justice if, say, Christians who are in a majority in Mizoram and Nagaland are given minority status or Sikhs treated as a minority community in Punjab.

Hearing a PIL seeking directions to declare Hindus as minority community in states where it is outnumbered by other communities, a bench of Justices U U Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia said any such community could be a religious or linguistic minority community. It said Marathi-speaking people would be a minority community outside Maharashtra; Kannada-speaking persons in Maharashtra are a minority. The petitioner said Hindus are minorities in J&K, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Lakshadweep, Manipur and Punjab but the Centre has so far declared only Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains as minorities in the country.

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