New Delhi: Terming as “unreasonable” the Allahabad High Court judgement that declared that Muslims can no longer be treated as a minority in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre said on 6 April it would challenge the verdict.
“We would do everything to restore the status quo so that Muslims continue to be treated as a minority,” Union Law Minister H R Bharadwaj told reporters.
Replying to a volley of questions on the judgement passed by a single judge Bench, he maintained that it was an established fact that Muslims are a minority and they should continue to be so.
“I have not read the judgement. But from what I could gather, it is an unreasonable judgement. We are not accepting it, we will seek its annulment,” Bharadwaj said on the sidelines of the two All India seminar on “Access to Justice” organised by the Confederation of Bar.
Bharadwaj, however, refrained from commenting on the question as to whether the judiciary was being unduly proactive.
Asked about the Government’s strategy in the wake of the verdict, the Minister said that the Centre would implead itself before the Allahabad High Court on the matter and seek its (judgement) annulment.
The Minister also said that a meeting of the UPA-Left coalition chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today would formulate an appropriate strategy to deal with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to stay the 27% reservation of seats for OBCs in elite Central educational institutions.
He however, refrained from commenting further on the matter, saying, “you will till the meeting is over.”
Meanwhile, the Left parties on 6 April dubbed the High Court order on the minority status of Muslims in UP as “wrong” and “ill-conceived” and asked the Centre and state governments to take all necessary steps to nullify the judgement.
The party has been accusing the higher judiciary of “encroaching” into the domain of legislature and demanding setting up of a National Judicial Commission to bring in accountability and reforms.
Asserting that it was “unfortunate” that the ruling has come at a time when the state was going to Assembly polls, it asked the Uttar Pradesh and Central governments to “take all necessary steps to see that the judgement is nullified.”
Sharing similar views, the CPI said the verdict “refuses to see that social realities that prevail not only in UP but also in the entire country” and it will deprive the rights of the Muslims as a community.
The “ill-conceived” judgement should be promptly reversed, the party’s Central Secretariat said in a statement here.
The Allahabad High Court had ruled on 5 April that Muslims in UP can no longer be treated as a religious minority on the basis of the twin criteria of population and strength and relying on the census reports of 1951 and 2001.