De-register SAD, it's not secular: Delhi HC urged
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had obtained its registration by "fraud" and this should be cancelled, the Delhi High Court has been told.chandigarh Updated: Dec 07, 2014 14:38 IST
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had obtained its registration by "fraud" and this should be cancelled, the Delhi High Court has been told.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw was also informed by counsel for social worker and Socialist Party of India vice president Balwant Singh Khera, who filed the PIL seeking cancellation of registration, that "SAD was a religious organisation and not a secular political party."
Advocate Indira Unninayar, appearing for Khera, asked the court to cancel the SAD's registration on the ground that this had been obtained through fraudulent methods.
"The leading political party SAD had obtained registration by fraud. It had signed an undertaking at the time of its registration to uphold the Constitution. One of those undertakings is that it shall be secular, but its activities were not secular in nature," she argued.
She also told the court that neither the Election Commission of India (ECI) nor the SAD had filed replies to the plea, which had originally been filed in 2010.
The court has now posted the matter for Jan 29, 2015.
Khera said that for registration purposes SAD undertook to be "secular" as mandated by the constitution even as its activities were not secular in nature. The plea had also pointed out that the SAD admitted its participation in gurdwara elections as a religious body and yet claimed that it was secular.
Khera had claimed that "his right to equality and non-discrimination guaranteed under Article 14 of the constitution and the right to freedom of religion guaranteed by Article 25 are being repeatedly violated as religion is being admittedly introduced into the politics of Punjab by SAD, yet the state through its authorised body, ECI, has repeatedly refused to take necessary action to restore/guard these rights."
"A party is obliged to follow secularism but SAD is not secular. They (SAD members) have been contesting gurdwara committee elections as a religious body, and their party specifies that all members must be practising Sikhs," said the plea.
First Published: Dec 07, 2014 14:29 IST