Gauhati HC issues notice to Centre over plea to declare Hindus & Indigenous people as minority in Nagaland, Mizoram

A plea being filed to declare Hindus and indigenous people of Nagaland and Mizoram as religious minorities in those states.

Gauhati High Court

Gauhati Sept 3-2020: The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre over a plea filed by Pankaj Deka, to declare Hindus and indigenous people of Nagaland and Mizoram as religious minorities in those states.

Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, appearing for Deka, challenged the validity of Section 2(C) of National Commission of Minorities Act and sought a direction for identification of minorities at the state level.

He contended that the TMA Pai judgment (2002) was the law of the land, which very categorically clarified that linguistic and religious minorities, should be identified at the state level.

The plea said minorities should be calculated as per their populations in their states and not based on national numbers. The calculation based on national figures leads to the minorities in a state being deprived of benefits. The PIL states that the North East states are populated mostly by Christians.

The petitioner submitted Christians are undoubtedly in majority in states of Mizoram (87.16%), Meghalaya (74.59%), Nagaland (88.10%) but they are treated as a minority for all purposes.

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