A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Justice Rajindra Sachar Committee report on the social, economic, and educational condition of the Muslim community.
The plea has been moved by six followers of Sanatan Vedic Dharm arguing that their rights along with the rights of similarly situated Hindus are being infringed, Live Law reported.
The plea filed through Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain has challenged the notification that the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Office issued in 2005. The notification had ordered the constitution of a High-Level Committee to prepare a report on the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in India. The committee had submitted its report in 2006.
The plea filed in the apex court seeks a restrain on the government’s implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee report where welfare schemes for the Muslim community amongst other things were suggested.
The petitioners have argued that the committee itself is illegal and unconstitutional citing that it was not constituted as a result of any cabinet meeting or decision but on the whims of Dr. Manmohan Singh. The plea has argued that the appointment of the Committee was made in violation of Article 77 of the Constitution of India.
Furthermore, the petitioners have further argued that the power to appoint a commission to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes vests with the President of India under Article 340 of the Constitution of India.
While stating that under Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, no religious community can be treated separately, it argued that no commission or committee can be appointed to investigate the conditions of any particular religious community. It’s been argued that there is no provision under which any special provision or schemes can be launched in favour of religious communities simply on the ground that they belong to a particular religion.
The petitioners have stated that the committee has not taken into consideration the conditions of the members of the Hindu community who are poorer and socially and educationally backward than most of the members of the Muslim community.
The petition has mentioned that the members of Muslim OBCs recognised by the Mandal Commission can approach the Backward Class Commission if they have any grievance relating to the implementation of denial of benefit of any scheme applicable to Backward classes.
According to the petitioners, since the entire Muslim community has not been identified as a socially and educationally backward class, the Muslim community as a whole cannot be treated as a class that needs special provisions for upliftment. The petitioners also mentioned the high positions that Muslims occupy in the film industry and in politics and government jobs to say that the entire community is not backward.