The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the validity of the Centre's 26-year-old notification declaring five communities -- Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis -- as minorities.
Religion must be considered pan-India and isn't decided on geography, said the bench which also comprised justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant. The court added that states, on the other hand, were formed on linguistic lines.
The PIL was filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who sought laying of guidelines to accord minority status based on state-wise population of a community.
Arguing the case for Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal cited the previous court judgments which dwelled on linguistic minority. According to news reports, the Chief Justice-headed bench said that states could not be considered as units in deciding on the question.
The bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, therefore, refused to entertain the PIL.
(with PTI inputs)