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HT Correpondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, December 08, 2012
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has started preparations to file a defamation lawsuit against the Delhi government for allegedly defying the orders of the Supreme Court on holding elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) before December 31. A spokesman said the decision was taken at a meeting of the SAD core committee presided over by the party's patron-in-chief and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh, here on Saturday. Party president and Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal was among those present.

The SAD has authorised party secretary Daljeet Singh Cheema to initiate proceedings for a defamation suit against the Delhi state government "for deliberately defying court orders on DSGMC elections on one flimsy pretext or another". The DSGMC polls were actually due early last year.

"The Delhi government first used the revision of electoral rolls as an excuse but the court dismissed it," said SAD spokesperson and CM's adviser Harcharan Bains. "It then had an afterthought and looked for excuses for defying the letter and the spirit of the SC verdict by stating that it was planning to amend the mode of election of the DSGMC elections."

The current DSGMC set-up, led by the Badals' sworn political enemy and SAD-Delhi chief Paramjit Singh Sarna, has proposed direct election of the committee president, as against the current procedure of the members choosing their head. The Badals' SAD has termed this proposed amendment, due for the Delhi assembly's nod, as "a delaying tactic".

The SAD spokesperson added on Saturday, "The court orders were very specific, calling for elections to be held before December 31 positively… and any attempt to sabotage it amounts to an act of grave and unforgivable affront to the highest court."

Earlier, the SAD core committee passed a resolution paying tributes to the late PM Inder Kumar Gujral and observed a two-minute silence.