Court pulls up government on plea against Sachar report

February 27th, 2008 - 9:27 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up the government for failing to respond to a public interest suit that sought restraint on the implementation of the Sachar committee report on the status of Muslims. The court on the last date of hearing asked the government to file its reply by Wednesday, which it failed.

Chief Justice M.K. Sharma and Justice Reva Khetarpal asked the government to file its reply in a week’s time, failing which the court would impose fine on it.

The government had set up the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee to look into the social, economic and educational status of Muslims and to suggest ways to improve it. The committee’s report was presented to parliament Nov 30, 2006.

Advocate P.N. Lekhi, who filed the PIL on behalf of the Patriots’ Forum, sought to know whether the Sachar panel report had not treated the Muslims “in a manner inconsistent with the treatment given to other recognised minorities”.

The public suit also raised the questions “whether it was tainted with the logic of racial compartmentalisation and communitarianism, whether it did not promise the rise of political Islam in India in violation of the constitution, and whether Muslims, who had ‘ruled’ the peninsula, could be treated as a minority.”

Lekhi said any promotion of Muslims as a religious minority would result in “destruction” of the secular polity promised by the constitution and was thus against its basic structure.

“The petition wishes to know whether the terms of reference of the Sachar Committee are not an extension of the Pakistan Resolution of 1940 made in Lahore,” he said.

Lekhi claimed the Sachar committee report ran contrary to all Supreme Court judgements on secularism.

Arguing that the committee’s recommendations were irrational, he claimed that the panel itself had said that in nine states the Muslims were educationally more advanced than other communities.

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