MINORITY STATUS IN J&K;SC directs Centre to file reply within four weeks
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Ankur Sharma regarding minority status in J&K, a Bench of three Judges headed by Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur directed Union of India to file its counter within four weeks.
Today, the petitioner-in-person Advocate Ankur Sharma of Jammu strenuously argued that all the Central Schemes especially PM’s 15 Point Programme are meant only for those communities which have been identified and notified as Minorities under section 2(c) of the NCM Act, 1992. Since the said Act is not applicable to the State of J&K, and the State of J&K is illegally recognising Muslims which constitute 68 per cent of the total population as Minorities, the implementation of Central Schemes in favour of unqualified sections of the society should be stayed immediately.
Communities which actually qualify as Minorities must get their due share through a proper process of identification and notification, stated Advocate Ankur.
Immediately after this, the State of J&K through its Standing Counsel Sunil Fernandez informed the court that the state is ready with its reply and shall file it in the shortest possible time.
Ankur Sharma sought attention of the Court to the fact that the Union of India is not causing its appearance on this third occasion of hearing even after they have been served upon well in time.
On this, the Chief Justice T S Thakur asked ASG Tushar Mehta to cause appearance on behalf of Union of India. He informed the court that he shall seek instructions. However, the Court granted 4 weeks time to the Union of India as well as the State of J&K to file its reply. Advocate Ankur Sharma explaining the contents of the petition said that through this petition he sought the Constitution of a State Minority Commission in J&K, Extension of the NCM Act, 1992 to the State of J&K, Identification and Notification of Minorities in J&K and prosecution against erring officials who have till date squandered thousands of crores of Rupees in the name of Minorities and have given it away to unqualified sections of the society. On a question as to who would constitute Minority in the state of J&K, Sharma categorically replied that Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists would constitute minorities in J&K.