Hoshiarpur-based Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission chairman and Socialist Party (India) vice-president Balwant Singh Khera, who has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Delhi high court seeking de-recognition of SAD as a political party for its alleged links with Sikh religion, has placed additional facts before the court after the SAD emphasised on its merger with SAD (Badal) during the previous hearing. Regular hearing of the PIL is going on since January.
The petitioner had applied to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking permission to inspect files relating to this case and from the file inspection it discovered that due procedure required for the merger of a political party as laid down by the Supreme Court was flouted in the 'merger' of SAD and the SAD (Badal).
The petitioner, through his counsels Prashant Bhushan and Indira Unniyar informed the court that a decision to merge or to dissolve a political party is to be placed before the general membership of the party for ratification and unless the general membership ratified such a decision, it would not be valid but no such record was placed before the ECI by the SAD.
The lawyers claimed that without going in to the adequacy of record, the ECI went ahead with the merger. The claimed that the said flaws in the documents were brought to the notice of the ECI by various representations, but the ECI ignored them.
They said that one of the complaints had sought the Constitution of the SAD before the coming into force of Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, and the resolution of the general house amending the constitution, as well as the resolution of amalgamation of the different factions of the party and appointment of Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as its president and secretary, respectively but the ECI admittedly did not collect most of these documents, and instead, relied upon the resolution supplied by the 'merger meeting' of the two parties.
Other complainants sought de-registration of the party given its non-secular links, its aim to propagate Sikhism, and sought that nominations of the SAD's candidates be rejected in light of the secessionist politics being practiced by the SAD, but the ECI dismissed the complaints, they added.