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Minority rights: SC asks Centre to decide Jain Mahasabha's plea

Minority rights: SC asks Centre to decide Jain Mahasabha's plea

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to consider and decide the representation seeking various reliefs including adequate representation of members of the Jain community in national and state minority panels.

The bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice AK Sikri said it was not going to entertain the plea filed by Akhil Bhartiya Jain Mahasabha and would rather ask the Centre to treat the petition as representation and decide it within four weeks.

The plea said that Jains, who have been accorded minority status last year by UPA-II government, be given equal treatment "vis-a-vis the Muslim community and other minority community".

The petition, filed through advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and Rajeev Sharma, said that Jains have been declared as a minority community by eleven state governments only and so far, no efforts have been made by the others to grant the same status to them.

"Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the central government to appoint Chairman and Members in the Minority Commission after giving due representation to Jain community," it said, adding that the states be also asked to do the same in appointing Chairman and members to their panels.

The plea has also sought a direction that grants, meant for minority communities, be also given equally to Jains for administering and managing their religious and educational places. It has also sought directions to state governments to include the Jain community in their list of minority communities and release them the grant in its favour on par with other such communities.

The petition claimed that the Jain community is long being ignored and neglected in the matter of conferment of their rights to be recognized as a minority community on par with Muslim Community.

first published:January 07, 2015, 18:38 IST