SC clears decks for SGPC elections
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday cleared
the decks for Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC)
elections in Punjab slated for September 18.
A bench of justices J M Panchal and H L Gokhale, however,
ruled results of the elections would be subject to the final
outcome of the case pending in the Punjab and Haryana High
Court vis-a-vis denial of voting rights to Sehjdhari Sikhs.
The bench further said the high court will dispose off
within one month the case relating to the voting rights of the
The Sehjdhari Sikh Federation had challenged the
September 6 verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court
suspending its September 1 order that had granted the
Sehjdharis the right to vote in the SGPC election.
In its special leave petition, the Federation said the
full bench of the HC could not have suspended the operation of
the September 1 order merely on an application filed by the
central government seeking its recall and without examining
the "effect of suspension."
The Sehjdhari Sikhs also questioned the legal
sustainability of the HC order which had denied them their
"statutory right" to vote.
The HC had passed the September 1 order on being
informed by the Centre?s senior counsel Harbhagwan Singh that
the government was withdrawing its October 8,2003,
notification that had taken away the voting rights of the
Susequently, the HC had disposed of the three petitions
filed in 2003 challenging the notification.
However, the Centre filed an application later,
contending it had not authorized Harbhagwan to make such a
statement in the court and sought recall of the HC order.