Supreme Court: The bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh, JJ has directed the Central Government to have a detailed deliberation with the State Governments and other stakeholders before legislating on matters pertaining to minority communities.
It was originally submitted before the Court that while referring to religious and linguistic minorities spread all over the Country it has been stated that a religious group that is majority in one State may be in minority in another State. The question which was posed was whether the Parliament or the State Legislature has the exclusive power to legislate on matters pertaining to minority communities and to protect their interest in accordance with the constitutional guarantees. It was stated that the Parliament and the State Legislature have concurrent powers to enact law to provide for the protection of minorities and their interests.
It was stated that the question involved in this writ petition has far reaching ramifications throughout the Country and therefore any stand taken without detailed deliberations with stakeholders may result in unintended complications throughout the Country.
Since in a fresh affidavit it was stated that the power is vested with the Central Government to notify minorities, the Court observed that issues raised will be finalized after having a wide consultation with the State Governments and other stakeholders.
The Court, hence, directed the Central Government to undertake the necessary exercise and file a status report at least 3 days before the next date of hearing i.e. August 30, 2022.
[Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 693, order dated 10.05.2022]
For petitioner: Senior Advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, Petitioner-in-person Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, Advocates Kapish Seth, Aniruddh Singh, Deepika Kalia and Ashwani Kumar Dubey, AOR
For Respondent(s): SG Tushar Mehta and Advocates Kanu Agrawal, Chinmayee Chandra, Sourav Roy, Amrish Kumar, Raj Bahadur Yadav, Neha T. Phookan, R. B. Phookan, Gautam Talukdar, Nishanth Patil, Prakhar Srivastava