SC to consider if Sikhs are minority in Punjab

SC to consider if Sikhs are minority in Punjab

Can Sikhs be called minority community in Punjab? The Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine if a religious community should be granted minority status even in a state where they are both numerically strong and suffered no domination by others.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided by Chief Justice T S Thakur agreed to have a re-look at the circumstances in which a state government declared a community as a religious or linguistic minority.

Hearing a petition by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) against a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment of December 2007, the court wondered if Sikhs, who are majority in Punjab be declared as minority. The court also hinted that the economic status of a community is also be taken into consideration while determining such a status.

“Can Muslims, who are in majority in Kashmir, still be treated as minority? Can Sikhs be minority in Punjab? Can Christians be minority in Meghalaya,” the bench asked.

Noting that the issue is serious one, the court appointed senior advocate T R Andhyarujina as amicus curiae and asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to assist it the matter.

The High Court had in 2007 quashed notifications issued by the state government granting minority status to SGPC-run educational institutions, affecting grant of 50 per cent reservation of seats for Sikhs students in its institutions.

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