High Court directive to Delhi SGPC on elections

Staff Reporter

“Convene general body meeting within 15 days”

The Executive Board last elected in February 2007

“Members making excuses to prevent fresh elections”

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to convene its general body meeting within 15 days and hold elections to the Executive Board within a month thereafter in accordance with the DSGMC Act.

Justice Rekha Sharma passed the directions on a suit by S. Malkinder Singh, one of the members of the Committee.

Mr. Singh submitted that members of the Executive Board were elected in February 2007 for a one-year term. They were obliged to call an annual general body meeting for holding elections to constitute a new Board before the expiry of the existing Board’s tenure, the plaintiff submitted. He stated that the Board had not only not convened a general body meeting, it was making all possible excuses to stonewall fresh elections.

The members of the Executive Board in their defence submitted that they were continuing in office beyond February 2008 when the elections were due on the basis of an amendment to the DSGMC Act carried out by the Delhi Government extending the term of the Board from one year to two years.

For holding on to the office beyond February 2009, the Executive Board members submitted that the proviso to Section 16 (5) of the Act permits an outgoing office-bearer or member to continue in office until his successor is elected.

The Court, however, dismissed their contentions.

Justice Sharma also made caustic observations about the state of affairs in the DSGMC, saying that “it has become a regular feature in gurdwaras in the Capital that the faction in power makes every effort to hold on to the office making a mockery of the provisions of the DSGMC Act”. She concluded the judgment expressing the hope that “the gurdwaras will heed their Gurus’ warning, ‘Thanisht jag bharisht hoe iv jag (when the holy places are desecrated, the world simply sinks)’.”

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