The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear a petition seeking to restrain the Sikkim government from allegedly demolishing a gurdwara in the state in the garb of renovating it. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the petitioner to serve a copy of his plea to Sikkim’s standing counsel.
The petitioner has moved the apex court alleging that the state authorities have illegally removed the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, from the site and would demolish the gurdwara in the name of renovation. The bench, which also comprised Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud, sought to know from the petitioner as to why he had not approached the high court in the matter.
Responding to the query, petitioner Amritpal Singh Khalsa said the petition was filed in extreme urgency due to the threat of demolition or renovation of Gurdwara Gurudongmar and it would take time to travel to Sikkim. The bench asked him to serve the copy of the plea to the standing counsel of the state during the course of the day and fixed the matter for hearing tomorrow.
The petitioner has alleged that state authorities have illegally removed the holy book from the gurdwara without following any code of conduct under the pretext of renovation. He claimed there was an “imminent threat” of the gurdwara being demolished without prior intimation to the Sikh priest.
The plea has claimed that there were sufficient historic books and documents which indicated that Guru Nanak Ji, the first Guru of Sikhs, had gone to the gurdwara Gurudongmar. It has sought the apex court’s direction prohibiting the authorities from carrying out any demolition or renovation work at the site.
The plea also said if the authorities wished to carry out any renovation work at the site, a prior notice of one month should be given to the priest so that appropriate action to shift the Guru Granth Sahib as per the Sikh code of conduct could be taken.