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Lieutenant Governor and ors. Vs. Jagdish Chand Kardam and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetter Patent Appeal No. 238 of 1980
Judge
Reported in24(1983)DLT312
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 29, 30 and 226
AppellantLieutenant Governor and ors.
RespondentJagdish Chand Kardam and ors.
Advocates: Y.K. Sabharwal,; M.M. Sudan,; S.L. Bhatia,;
Excerpt:
the case debated on whether the schedule caste would be regarded as minority community - it was specified that the classification of the minority community was based on either religion or on language - it was ruled that the schedule caste protected under article 30 of the constitution of india, would not be regarded as minority community - however, the question as to whether the schedule caste would be covered by article 29 was left open - .....castes constitute a minority within the meaning of article 30 of the constitution.(2) the learned single judge has observed in his judgment under appeal that, 'admittedly it is a minority educational institution of the schedule classes' while giving a resume of facts in the earlier part of his judgment. how the learned single judge got this impression is not very clear. it seems that though a return was filed on behalf of respondent no. 2, by an affidavit sworn by shri lal chand, secretary of the baba saheb ambedkar higher secondary school, no appearance was put in at the time when the writ petition was heard by the learned single judge. be it as it may, we have to construe the provisions of the constitution. respectfully we must observe that the provision of the constitution as such.....
Judgment:

Prakash Narain, C.J.

(1) Only one point arises for determination in this appeal under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent as applicable to this Court. The point is whether schedule castes constitute a minority within the meaning of Article 30 of the Constitution.

(2) The learned Single Judge has observed in his judgment under appeal that, 'Admittedly it is a minority educational institution of the schedule classes' while giving a resume of facts in the earlier part of his judgment. How the learned Single Judge got this impression is not very clear. It seems that though a return was filed on behalf of respondent No. 2, by an affidavit sworn by Shri Lal Chand, Secretary of the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Higher Secondary School, no appearance was put in at the time when the writ petition was heard by the learned Single Judge. Be it as it may, we have to construe the provisions of the Constitution. Respectfully we must observe that the provision of the Constitution as such was not construed by the learned Single Judge and he went by his impression as to admitted facts.

(3) Article 30 of the Constitution protects certain rights of minority communities if the minority community is classified either on the basis of religion or on language. There is no protection for any other type of minority under Article 30 of the Constitution. Article 29 of the Constitution, which is a distinct article does envisage communities having distinct culture etc. and does not speak of religion. Article 29 and Article 30 of the Constitution operate in distinct fields. Though a community having a distinct language may also be a minority as envisaged by Article 30 but the reverse may not necessarily be true. Schedule castes otherwise having diverse protections under the Constitution cannot be regarded as a minority community within the meaning of Article 30 of the Constitution. We do not comment upon whether they would be covered as such by Article 29 of the Constitution as there is no material about it on the record.

(4) In the petition under Article 226 of the Constitution there is a vague plea claiming that schedule caste was a minority in the Union Territory of Delhi and, thereforee, entitled to invoke Article 30 of the Constitution. This was specifically denied in the return filed on behalf of the school.lt seems that the pleadings were not brought to the notice of the learned Single Judge when he proceeded to hear the case.

(5) We, thereforee, cannot persuade ourselves to agree with the opinion of the learned Single Judge. The appeal is accepted. The judgment is set aside. There will be no order as to costs.


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