Haryana Gurdwara Management Act upheld by Supreme Court

Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision upheld Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Act, 2014. This Act created a separate committee to oversee the state’s affairs.

The Shiromani Gurdwaraprabandhak Committee member had filed a plea seeking to quail the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Act.

Harbhajan Singh, a Haryana resident, filed a 2014 plea. He argued that Section 72 of 1966’s Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 states that the power to make laws in respect of the SGPC, an inter-state corporation, has been reserved for the Central Government and there is no provision in law for bifurcation through enacting State legislation.

According to the petition, the hasty enactment was not only contrary to the constitution and statutory provisions of the Punjab Reorganisation Act but also divisive as it aims at creating dissension among followers of the Sikh religion.

“Haryana cannot legislate under the law in respect of a topic where the field has already been occupied by central legislative as the subject of religion institutions correlates with Entry 28 List III. The law does not contain any strict requirements regarding interstate bodies corporate.

“It is important that you note that the Central Government has been given the mandate to perform several actions, including the reservation of constituencies, constitution and election tribunal of Sikh Gurdwara Gurdwara Elections Tribunal, as well as notification of gurdwaras in order to bring them within the scope of Section 85 of 1925 Act,” the petition stated.

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