HC Interfereing In Sikh's "Relegious Affair's"


29 Dec 2008, 0530 hrs IST, TNN


Admitting that the definition of Sehajdhari Sikh submitted by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in High Court was wrong, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar has constituted a three-member investigation sub-committee comprising Raghujit Virk, Kewal Singh Badal and Rajinder Singh Mehta.
The sub-committee would submit its report within two days. SGPC has also decided to challenge the High Court on allegedly interfering in religious affairs of Sikhs.
Makkar convened on Sunday an emergency meeting of SGPC's executive committee to discuss the sensitive issue.
Later, talking to mediapersons, Makkar said the affidavit was submitted in High Court in his absence and directed the SGPC to take stern action against those who had submitted the affidavit.
He said SGPC sticks to the definition of Sikh as mentioned in the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925.
According to the Act, a Sikh means "a person who professes the Sikh religion or, in the case of a deceased person, who professed the Sikh religion or was known to be a Sikh during his lifetime".
A Sehajdhari Sikh means a person "who performs ceremonies according to Sikh rites, who does not use tobacco, or kutha (halal meat) in any form, who is not patit and who can recite mul manter". Patit means a person who being a Keshdhari Sikh trims or shaves his beard or who, after taking amrit, commits any or more of the four kurahits.
The SGPC, in its affidavit, had added further explanation that "Sehajdhari" consists of two words - sehaj, meaning slowly and dhari, which means to adopt the religion.
Convener of American Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Pritpal Singh said SGPC should first withdraw the affidavit and then mull over the matter with all Sikh representative bodies before submitting another affidavit to the High Court, maintaining that neither HC nor Parliament had the right to give definition of Sikhs, which was a preserve of the Akal Takht.

Published in Legal Documents
Source : Times of India,
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