August 17, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: The Union home ministry today issued guidelines notifying the debarment of Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) elections.
It is learned that in a notification issued by the ministry last week it had omitted form I A that allowed voting rights to Sehajdhari Sikhs. The latest guidelines from the ministry came nearly a year after the Centre amended the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, said officials were quoted saying by an English vernacular.
The matter has been hanging fire since 2011 after the Punjab and Haryana Court restored Sehajdharis’ right to vote, quashing the Centre’s 2003 notification.
As per information the SCI has not disturbed the Judgment dated 20.12.2011 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the notification of Government of India dated 8.10.2003 in view of the fact that the Parliament has passed a law by amendment of the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925. The Court held that the question is academic as the Parliament has passed the bill and enacted the law.
The SC held that the HC in its judgment has not expressed any views directly or indirectly as to who constitutes a Sikh and or whether a Sehajdhari Sikh who trims or shaves his beard can also be a Sikh.
Earlier, the Court passed special observation that the respondent Sahijdhari Sikh Party can challenge the Amendment Act 2016 on all grounds. The SC has disposed off the appeal of the SGPC by reinstating the elected House of 2011.