November 5, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: The SGPC on November 5 failed to submit its reply in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition challenging new chief secretary’s appointment. It sought more time from the High Court to file the reply to a petition Hence, the case has been adjourned till January 8.
On October 5, the high court had served a notice of motion and stay orders on the chief secretary’s post.
The notice was issued to the SGPC and the state government asking why the chief secretary’s selection should not be stayed.
Amidst opposition from several quarters, the SGPC went ahead with its decision to appoint a former banker, Harcharan Singh, as its chief secretary in August on a hefty package of Rs 3 lakh, besides perks.
The recruitment was challenged though a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Balwinder Singh on the ground that the current SGPC has been functioning on an interim arrangement as the issue related to the voting rights of Sehajdhari Sikhs was pending before the Supreme Court and the interim body had no right to create a new post and make such appointments.
The applicant had sought directions to quash the appointment order of Harcharan as SGPC chief secretary.
The SGPC’s general body is under animated suspension till the pendency of the Sehajdhari voting case in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had endorsed the 15-member executive committee formed in 2010 to run the SGPC affairs till the final verdict over the general body is pronounced.
The high court Bench sought replies from the SGPC by November 5.
Advocate Manpreet Singh, who appeared on behalf of the SGPC, said that today was the first date of hearing and time was sought to prepare the defence.
“We urge the high court to grant us some more time to prepare the justification about the appointment of chief secretary. I was in need of certain documents which have reached me. By the next date of hearing, we will be prepared to defend the appointment,” he said.
Earlier, various Sikh organisations under the banner of Panthic Talmel Dal had opposed the move.
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