Sehajdhari voting row: Amritsar RTI activist terms decisions of SGPC’s previous executive panel illegal
Sikh activist Baldev Singh Sirsa threatens to challenge proceedings in high court.Updated: Aug 19, 2017 12:45 IST
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
A debate has sparked over the decisions taken in 2016 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)’s previous executive panel after the Supreme Court (SC) reinstated the general house of the gurdwara body in case of Sehajdhari Sikh issue and before the general house elected the new executive panel.
The Sikh activists in a press conference here, smelling a ‘scam’, have termed the proceedings as ‘illegal’.
The SC on 16 Sep, 2016 had reinstated the 170-member general house of the SGPC, elected in 201,1 by disposing the gurdwara body’s petition over Sehajdhari Sikhs’ right to vote in SGPC elections. The SGPC had moved to the SC to challenge the 2011 Punjab and Haryana high court’s judgement.
The high court restoring Sehajdharis’ right to vote, had suspended the newly elected general house. Responding to the SGPC petition, the apex court in a temporary relief, had ordered that the SGPC executive body; functional before 2011 polls; to continue running daily affairs till final orders.
Addressing a press conference, Sikh activist Baldev Singh Sirsa said the panel was automatically dissolved with the SC’s order.
Sirsa had managed to get information about the resolutions passed during an executive panel meeting held on Sep 29 last year led by the then president Avtar Singh Makkar. “The executive panel functional before the new general house was elected in 2011, existed till SC verdict was out and had no right to conduct any meeting or pass any resolution. However, it passed as many as 228 resolutions by conducting a secret meeting in a gurdwara in Ludhiana,”he said.
Sirsa said, “Bills of crore of rupees were cleared, besides giving nods to sale and purchase of costly assets of gurdwaras and appointing employees.” “Cases of misconduct against employees were also withdrawn,” he said.
Accompanied by Ajit Singh Batth, Master Sucha Singh and others, Sirsa said he is consulting with his legal counsel and will be moving to Punjab and Haryana high court to challenge the proceedings.
SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar and secretary Roop Singh were unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts. SGPC member Sukhdev Singh Bhaur who was also a member of the executive panel, said that only a lawyer can tell what is right or wrong.
First Published: Aug 19, 2017 12:42 IST