Amritsar: Akal Takht, the highest temporal body of the Sikhs, has ruled that the Guru Granth Sahib cannot be kept in homes which have bars or where tobacco or intoxicants are consumed.
"It has been decided that Guru Granth Sahib (the holiest scripture of the Sikhs) cannot be placed in a house or location where liquor bars and substances having ingredients like tobacco, intoxicants and halal meat exist," Akal Takhat Jatehdar (head) Gyani Gurbachan Singh said.
"In the Sikh religion, Guru Granth Sahib is treated as a living master and keeping it in houses with liquor bars is no less than a direct disrespect to it," Singh said.
The Jathedar said the Guru Granth Sahib cannot be even temporarily placed in houses with liquor bars.
Singh said `Akhand Path` can only be organised in gurdwaras or homes with hygienic atmosphere and not at roadside `samadhs` or any other objectionable places.
"Any family or place where halal meat, hookah, charas, tobacco or any kind of intoxicants are consumed are strictly banned to organise Akhand Path of Guru Granth Sahib," the Jathedar said.
Akhand Path should be held either at homes or any place where Sikh ethics are strictly adhered to.
The Jathedar also advised Sikhs to abstain from consumption of intoxicants.
The decision has been taken on suggestions from Sikh intellectuals, heads of Sikh religious bodies and various Sikh scholars, the Jathedar said.
He said the directive will be valid all over the world and every true Sikh is bound to follow it in letter and spirit.
"Violation of the directive will amount to religious punishment since it would be treated a blasphemous act," he said.