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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Phoolka objects to term ‘Sikh cult’ in Ayodhya verdict addendum

Writes to Akal Takht seeking direction to SGPC to take legal measures to ensure removal of the term

chandigarh Updated: Nov 14, 2019 22:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Harvinder Singh Phoolka
Harvinder Singh Phoolka (HT File )
         

Supreme Court lawyer and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Harvinder Singh Phoolka on Thursday objected to the term “Sikh cult” used in the addendum of the Supreme Court’s November 9 judgment ordering the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

In a letter to the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, Phoolka urged it to direct the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to take legal measures to ensure removal of the word “cult” which according to him is not fit for the Sikh religion.

“There is a sense of annoyance among many Sikh groups and the sangat over this act. In the judgment passed by the Constitution bench there is absolutely no reference to the objectionable term ‘Sikh cult’. This addendum is of 116 pages and is not signed by any of the member judges of the Constitution bench. This addendum is not the judgment of the Constitution bench, but yet attaching it with the verdict accords it importance and it can be relied upon and quoted by historians, the media and even by the courts,” reads the letter addressed to Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh.

“The term appeared in this addendum while quoting the extracts from the examination-in-chief of Rajinder Singh, who appeared as a witness. His statement was recorded by the trial court more than 25 years ago,” it reads further.

In paras 154 and 155 of the main judgment of the Constitution bench, the SC has clearly held that “the tenets of Sikhism are opposed to idol worship, Phoolka says.

He requested the acting jathedar to rope in a team of the top lawyers to examine the matter in detail. “Sikh groups must be requested not to rush to the SC with a half-baked strategy. If the top court declines to entertain the application of any group, it will then be difficult for the SGPC to satisfy the court on the maintainability of their petition,” he added.