The Centre has told Supreme Court that since the subject of identification of minority communities is in the Concurrent list, the states have the power to confer minority status to certain religious or linguitic communities.

Citing an example, the Centre said that the Maharashtra government has conferred minority status to Jews, while the Karnataka government has notified Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati among other languages as minority language.

Emphasising that the issue of religious and linguistic minority identification cannot follow a straight approach, it pointed out that since religious religious and linguistic minorities are spread all over the country, a religious group that is in majority in one sate may be in minority in another state.

The affidavit came in response to a PIL, which said that followers of Hinduism, Judaism and Bahaism are minorities in J&K, Mizoram, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, Manipur and Punjab but the majority communities in these states are treated as minorities and corner benefits.