| Chandigarh, Punjab | 27 Sept 2015 | Asia Samachar |
A Punjab and Haryana high court advocate has filed a petition challenging a Sept 10 edict from Sri Akal Takht edict requiring its approval before Sikhs build construct new gurdwaras anywhere in the world.
On Sept 26, RS Dhull, an advocate with Punjab and Haryana high court, had petitioned to squash the order and had sought to make Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) as party in the case, besides, Punjab government.
“Gurudwaras are declared as notified under the provisions of Sikh Gurudwaras Act, 1925 by respective government order. SGPC shall have no power to get and manage affairs of a gurudwara which is not declared as such,” the petitioner has stated, according to a report entitled ‘Sikh clergy order on prior permission for opening gurdwaras challenged’ in the Hindustan Times on Sept 26.
On Sept 12, Asia Samachar reported that the Akal Takht had issued an edict requiring Sikhs worldwide to get its permission before opening up any new gurdwaras, a move likely to cause consternation in the Sikh diaspora.
The decision was taken after a ‘thorough deliberation’ of the five Singh Sahibs at the Akal Takht secretariat in Amritsar, Punjab, according to a letter dated 10 Sept 2015 from the Sikh religious authority.
It was signed by Akal Takhat jathedar Gurbachan Singh, Takht Sri Patna Sahib jathedar Giani Ikbal Singh, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib jathedar Mal Singh, Takht Sri Damdama Sahib jathedar Gurmukh Singh and Takht Hazoor Sahib granthi Ram Singh.
In the latest move, the petitioner said the order was against the freedom of religion as enshrined in the Constitution of India, according to the report.
The right of freedom of religion cannot be curtailed and no such restriction or prior permission could be demanded, it has been argued. The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week, it added.
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