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Saturday, January 28, 2023

SC upholds Haryana Gurdwara Act

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the constitutional validity of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta rejected the contention of the Haryana government seeking to wrest control of gurudwaras held by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC).

The Supreme Court said the petitions have been dismissed and the validity of the Act has been upheld.

The petitioner, Harbhajan Singh, had challenged before the Supreme Court the Haryana legislation by arguing that the state assembly lacked the power to create a body for gurudwara management as such power was reserved with Parliament.

Harbhajan Singh said the legislation was violative of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, the State Reorganisation Act, 1956, the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 as well as the Inter State Corporation Act, 1957.

The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on September 2 after hearing from all the stakeholders including the main two opposite parties — HSGMC and SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) — fighting it out in the apex court.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday passed the verdict after hearing a legal dispute between HSGMC (Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee) and SGPC following a petition in 2014 over a separate gurdwara management body for Haryana.

In 2014, the then Haryana government lead by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had passed HSGMC Act forming a separate gurdwara management body for the state.

This was challenged by the Kurukshetra-based member of SGPC Harbhajan Singh Masanan, who is also the executive committee (EC) member of the SGPC.

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