Ker HC | Minority Commission doesn’t have jurisdiction to pass order directing issuance of revenue documents to individual member of community

Kerala High Court: A. Muhamed Mustaque, J. set aside an order given by the Minority Commission whereby Tahsildar and Village Officer were directed to issue the revenue documents to the Respondent 2.

In the present case, Jenny John (Respondent 2) a member of minority community approached the Minority Commission with a complaint that he was denied revenue documents which he intended to receive for the purpose of quarrying. The Minority Commission gave orders directing Tahsildar and the Village Officer to provide him with the necessary documents. The present writ petition was filed challenging the order given by the Minority Commission and to decide whether the Commission had jurisdiction to pass such an order.

The learned Special Government Pleader Sri Jaffarkhan, by referring to Section 9 of the Kerala State Commission for Minorities Act, 2014, contended that the Commission had exceeded its jurisdiction while issuing the impugned order.

Learned counsels for Respondent 2, Mr K. Anand and Mr K. Noushad, contended that he was denied those documents because he belonged to a minority community.

The Court observed that the Constitution of India envisages protection to the minority to ensure a sense of security and treatment at par with the majority. In order to safeguard them from possible discrimination, the State of Kerala enacted the Act of 2014 whereunder a Minority Commission was constituted for the purpose of educational advancement, welfare, protection, empowerment of minority, etc.

It was opined that though the claim for documents from the Revenue Department was related to the economic aspiration of an individual member of the community, it was not protected under the Constitution. Section 9 of the Act pertained to collective nature of right or benefits for the minority community, and a claim made by an individual would not have any bearing in the matter unless it was shown that he was deprived of the benefit for the reason that he belonged to a minority community. This, clearly, was not the case in the present matter as Respondent 2 intended to convert a land assigned for agricultural purpose for non-agricultural use. It was observed that the issue herein was the right use of a particular land and not the status of Respondent 2.

In view of the above, it was held that the question as to whether Respondent 2 could use the land for non-agricultural purposes was not within the jurisdiction of Minority Commission. The impugned order was set aside granting Respondent 2 the liberty to pursue a remedy in an appropriate manner.[Tahsildar (Land Records) v. Kerala State Minority Commission, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1486, decided on 25-03-2019 ]

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