HC asks UP to explain minority schemes

The Allahabad high court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to explain why only Muslim girls were being given benefits and financial aid under its minority welfare scheme “Hamari Beti, Uska Kal”.
A bench comprising acting Chief Justice Laxmikant Mohapatra and Justice Rakesh Srivastava, has asked the state government to file a reply within three weeks on the issue.
The court was hearing public interest litigation (PIL) on Tuesday, filed by Ashok Srivastava of Siddhartanagar.
The PIL alleges that the August 14, 2012 order of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state had said that Muslim girls will be given `30,000 for higher education and marriage and had claimed that this was in contravention to the right of equality enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
The petitioner had also alleged that the government was trying to divide the society on religious lines by doing so for political gains. The PIL cites the Supreme Court (SC) order in the Indra Sahini case wherein the apex court had said that no reservation can be granted on religious lines.
Counsel of the Uttar Pradesh government A.K. Goel, however, told the court that the state government was doing so as part of its mandated task of “minority welfare”. He added that the grant was being given to all minorities, including Hindus.
The “Hamari Beti, Uska Kal” scheme has been one of the most publicised schemes of the UP government and SP leaders.

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