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Political scuffle taking dangerous turn: Sarna’s petition in Delhi High Court pretends challenge to Akal Takht authority

October 12, 2013 | By

New Delhi, India (October 12, 2013): The political scuffle between Manjit Singh GK (Current head of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee) and Paramjit Singh Sarna (former head of DSGMC) has started taking dangerous turn. As per information Paramjit Singh Sarna has filed a petition in an Indian court and it is believed that such a petition pretends challenge the authority of the Jathedar of Akal Takht. The petition was taken up by the Delhi High Court on October 08 and the matter was adjourned for October 23.

The petition that came up before the bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Indermeet Kaur stated that the Jathedar interfered in the system of justice. The court, so far, has issued no notice against anyone.

Foundation stone of Sikh Genocide 1984 memorial being laid near Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib in New Delhi (File Photo)

Foundation stone of Sikh Genocide 1984 memorial being laid near Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib in New Delhi (File Photo)

Filed by a man named Jatinder Singh, the petition has not made the Jathedar a respondent but said that his forcing former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Paramjit Singh Sarna to withdraw his writ petition in the Delhi high court against building the 1984 Sikh Genocide memorial in Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib in Delhi amounted to criminal contempt of court.

The petition makes Punjab deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal; Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar; and DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK respondents. It stated that the three had directed the Akal Takht Jathedar to order Sarna to withdraw the writ petition, and so should be punished for contempt of court.

Site for November 1984 Sikh Genocide Memorial

Site for November 1984 Sikh Genocide Memorial

On July 26, 2013 Sarna had appeared before the Takht and accepted to withdraw his petition. On June 12, 2013 the DSGMC had laid the foundation stone of the memorial dedicated to Sikhs killed in the 1984 riots, and Sarna had moved the Delhi high court, arguing that it couldn’t be built inside a Gurdwara.

On June 15, 2013 the Takht summoned Sarna on the issue of his objection. Defending the respondents, lawyer HS Phoolka told the court that contempt was not maintainable because the Takht could intervene in religious matters. Manjit Singh GK has called the new petition most shocking for the Sikhs.

Questioning the role of a standing counsel of the Delhi government who gave approval for filing the contempt petition, DSGMC head Manjit Singh GK said the Congress had been making continuous efforts to undermine the Takht’s authority. “It is first time that anyone has alleged in court that the Akal Takht Jathedar has committed criminal contempt,” he added.

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