Panel on Lingayat religion: HC orders notice to state, Centre

Panel on Lingayat religion: HC orders notice to state, Centre

Panel on Lingayat religion: HC orders notice to state, Centre

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday issued emergent notice to the Central and state governments and the national and state minority commissions in a matter related to religious minority tag for Lingayat community.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the authority of the state minority commission to grant status of religious minority to a particular community.

According to the petitioners, the Karnataka State Minority Commission has formed a seven-member expert committee to study the demand of the Lingayat community for a separate minority religion status.

Headed by retired High Court judge HN Nagamohan Das, the panel has to submit a report within four weeks. The committee recently issued an order stating that the report of the expert committee shall be placed before the commission for making suitable recommendations to the government.

The petitioners stated that the Lingayat community constitutes 20% of the state's population. They have contended that the role of the minority commission is to protect the interests and rights of the people from minority communities and not to add a community to the list of minority communities.

The division bench sought to know whether the power of the commission to pass such an order can be traced to any provision of law. The government counsel however submitted that no order has been passed but only the proceedings were underway.

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