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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 29 September 2021 1.04 AM IST

HC rejects plea to reassess minority status of Christians, Muslims in Kerala

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KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday said merely because there are a few rich people among the minority communities, one cannot be expected to understand that their richness is due to them belonging to that community. Also, merely for that factor, it cannot be taken for granted that the entire members of the minority communities are economically and socially advanced, it said.

A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly made this observation while dismissing a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to reassess whether Muslims and Christians in Kerala should continue to be considered in the list of minority communities. In its plea, petitioner organisation -- Citizens Association for Democracy, Equality, Tranquility and Secularism(CADETS) -- had contended that the list of minorities in Kerala has to be re-determined and has sought a direction to the National Commission for Minorities to do the same.

The organisation had claimed that the Muslim and Christian communities in Kerala have progressed tremendously in the fields of socio-economics and education and therefore, their minority status requires to be re-determined and no preferential treatment should be given to them. It also sought a direction to the Commission to evaluate the development progress of the two communities in Kerala. "Deducing the facts and circumstances, and the law, we have no hesitation to hold that the petitioner has not made out any case for interference as is sought for in the writ petition", a bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, said in the order.

Noting that the Government of Kerala has also brought out Kerala State Commission for Minorities Act, 2014 for the comprehensive educational advancement, welfare, protection and empowerment of Minorities in the state, the Court said the term ''minority'' is defined under the Act, 2014 to mean a community notified by the Central Government under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. It said merely because rich individuals are there in the community, who are able to afford very luxurious living conditions, that would not stand in the way of the Commission ascertaining the minority status of the communities as such.

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