The plea filed by advocate Ashutosh Dubey challenged a 1993 notification of the Central government declaring Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains as minorities at the national level.
The petitioners sought identification of minorities at the district level, and challenged the constitutionality of a proviso to the National Commission for Minorities Act enabling the 1993 notification.
The petition argued that denial of minority rights to ‘real minorities’, referring to the Hindu community in India that may be a minority in several States, is arbitrary and unreasonable. The same infringes on the fundamental right to equality, prohibition of discrimination, and erodes the State’s endeavour to reduce inequalities, it was contended.
Further, it is argued that the framers of the Constitution never intended to establish minority commissions and ministries. The classification of minorities merely on a religious basis fails the test of rationality and is not based on any intelligible differential, the petitioners contended.