Thursday 29 September 2016
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SGPC Row: HC Issues Notices to Centre, Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to the Centre, the SGPC and HSGMC on a petition seeking quashing of an act that paved the way for formation of a separate Sikh body in Haryana to manage affairs of gurdwaras in the state.

On a petition filed by Fatehgarh Sahib-based advocate Ram Singh Somal, the court also issued notices to Punjab, Haryana and Himachal governments and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to file their replies by September five.

The petitioner had sought quashing of the Act, enacted by the Congress-led Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, that paved the way for formation of a separate body to control affairs of Sikh shrines in the state.

It was submitted by the petitioner that only Parliament had the legislative competence to enact such an act and not the Haryana assembly.

A Division Bench comprising justices Hemant Gupta and Arun Palli also ordered that the parties shall apprise it as to whether the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925 was enacted as a central or provincial subject or as a reserved or transferred subject.

The petitioner contended after the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) had become an inter-state body corporate and any law regarding the incorporation, regulation and winding up of the same could be exclusively passed by Parliament.

The petitioner said the Central government had amended the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 from time to time by issuing notifications. Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has been involved in a raging row with the Haryana government over the issue.

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