A day after submitting an affidavit in Delhi High Court to seek liberty to withdraw a 27-year-old suit where SGPC has claimed Rs 1,000 crore in compensation from Centre for damages to the Golden Temple due to Operation Bluestar in 1984,the SGPC has now decided to withdraw the affidavit and continue ahead with fighting the case.
We will withdraw the affidavit submitted in Delhi High Court. We will fight the case till end, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
The decision to withdraw the compensation suit was reportedly taken after Delhi High Court asked SGPC to pay nearly Rs 10 crore as court fee and SGPC was apprehensive about spending such an amount citing that paying the court fee would be sheer wastage of hard money donated by devotees if the court decided against maintainability of the case even after 27 years.
The SGPC reportedly considered to drastically cut short the compensation amount as they would have to pay a smaller fee to the court.
SGPC has convened a meeting of Sikh intellectuals and lawyers in New Delhi to deliberate on the suit and next course of action on March 23.
We would discuss the issue in detail during the meeting. But,one thing is sure that we are going to take back the affidavit relating to withdrawal of the suit, Makkar said.
There had been suggestions that compensation suit should be altered and only token money like Re 1 would be sufficient as our basic objective is to bring to fore the truth and fixing accountability (in the Operation Bluestar), Makkar said.
We will take a call on the change of quantum of compensation amount,if any,in the suit during the meeting on March 23. There might be a clause as per law that in case we withdraw affidavit,we could still be bound to pay Rs 10 crore as court fee, Makkar added.
The compensation suit was filed in Amritsar court in 1985 before it was transferred to Delhi High Court.
Meanwhile,SAD (Delhi) president and former president of SGPC (Delhi) Paramjit Singh Sarnam,in a press statement Tuesday,expressed surprise over apex body of Sikhsaffidavit to withdraw the compensation suit in a matter of utmost important to Sikh community. Terming the development as sad,Sarna said …if SGPC is not capable of depositing such a huge court fee,Akal Takht Jathedar should ask representatives of SAD.