SC stays HC verdict holding Sikhs as non-minority

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has stayed the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment which held that Sikhs were not a minority community in Punjab.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balkrishnan issued notice to Sahil Mittal, a resident of Sangrur on whose writ, the High Court had struck down state government’s notification permitting the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to give 50 percent reservation to Sikh students in colleges run by it.
Punjab government and Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) has filed petitions challenging the High Court’s December 17, 2007 verdict. The High Court had relied upon the census of 2001 according to which the Sikh population in Punjab was 59.2 percent and Hindus were 37 percent.
The Court had held that there was no material to substantiate that ‘Sikhs’ were non-dominant group in the state apprehending the deprivation of their rights at the hands of dominant groups.
The judgment of the High Court was based on an eleven member constitutional bench ruling that minority status can be decided on the basis of state population and not on national basis.
Monday, 05.19.2008, 01:40am (GMT-7)


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