Supreme Court to hear plea on constitutional validity of Haryana Sikh

New Delhi, Aug 6:  The Supreme Court today agreed to examine the constitutional validity of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014 under which a separate committee was formed to manage the affairs of the Gurdwaras in the state. The formation of a new committee had sparked a bitter tussle between the Amritsar-based Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) and the new panel over control of Sikh shrines in Haryana.

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha, however, turned down the plea for immediate status quo on SGPC row and listed the case for an urgent hearing tomorrow. Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioner who is a member of SGPC, pleaded for status quo saying the situation is volatile in the state and the apex court must intervene in the matter immediately.

The bench, however, said that there is no need of passing order on status quo right now and posted the case for hearing tomorrow.
“We would examine the issue. There is a duly-elected government to take care of law and order situation in the state,” the bench said.
The matter was listed for hearing before another bench but one of the judges of the bench recused himself. The petitioner then rushed to the Chief Justice’s court for an urgent hearing.

The Chief Justice’s bench, however, declined to hear the case today saying the matter would be heard on Friday. After Salve vehemently pleaded the court for early hearing, the bench posted the case for tomorrow. Petition filed by Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Haryana and member of SGPC, said that Section 72 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 says that the power to make law in respect of SGPC as an Inter-State Body Corporate has been reserved to the Central Government only and there is no provision in law for any bifurcation by enacting a State legislation.