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SC agrees to hear plea against Haryana govt’s move on Gurdwara committee

The petition filed by an elected SGPC member has pleaded to get the law declared as ultra vires and illegal.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | August 6, 2014 11:21:30 am

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine on Thursday a petition, seeking to get stalled the Haryana government’s move to create a separate Gurdwara Management Committee. The petition, filed by an elected member of the Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (SGPC), has pleaded the court to get the law declared as ultra vires and illegal.

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha fixed the matter for Thursday while observing that it was state government’s obligation to ensure law and order is not disturbed.

“Gurdwaras can’t be taken over just like that…a duly elected government is there. They can allow law and order to be disturbed. It is there constitutional obligation,” observed the court.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by senior advocate Harish Salve, who urged the court to immediately intervene in the matter as the situation in Haryana has become volatile.

The petition has said the hasty enactment is not only against the constitutional provisions and the statutory provisions of Punjab Reorganisation Act but is also divisive in its intention to create dissension amongst followers of Sikh religion.

“Under the law, Haryana cannot legislate in respect of a subject where the field is already occupied by central legislation as the subject of religious institutions correlates to Entry 28 List III. The strict provisions with regard to interstate body corporate under the law have not been complied with.

“It is important to note that mandate with regard to several actions including reservation of constituencies, constitution of Sikh Gurdwara Elections Tribunal and notification of Gurdwaras for bringing them within the provisions of Section 85 of the 1925 Act have been done by the Central Government,” the petition said.

The petitioner sought court’s direction in the nature of certiorari for quashing the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Act on the ground that it is ultra vires the Constitution.

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