Thursday, July 25, 2024

Regional

New Adhoc Sikh Gurdwara Committee awaits notification by Haryana Govt, statutory tenure of previous temporary Committee ended on May 31

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | June 13, 2024 09:09 PM

CHANDIGARH: About a fortnight ago on 31 May 2024, the statutory tenure of the 38-member Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Adhoc Committee, which was constituted in Dec, 2022 has been completed; however a new temporary Committee is yet to be notified for reasons best known to the State Government.

Meanwhile, Hemant Kumar, an Advocate at Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate has appealed to the Haryana Government that since now that the Model Code of Conduct has been lifted by the Election Commission of India after the completion of the 18th Lok Sabha General Election, hence the new Adhoc Committee must be nominated and notified without any further delay. Since as per the Section 16(8) of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management)- HSGM Act, 2014, the tenure of the aforementioned Adhoc Committee which was constituted via a Order of State's Home Department dated 1 December, 2022 can be only for 18 months, hence such term has already got completed on 31 May 2024.

Quoting Sec 16(8) of ibid 2014 Act, Hemant said that it stipulates that till the elections are held after the enforcement of this (HSGMC) Act, an Adhoc Committee comprising of 41 members shall be nominated by the Government of Haryana to manage, supervise and take over all the assets of the Gurdwaras including movable and immovable properties of every description and shall continue to hold such charge to manage the affairs of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee till the new Committee is constituted, which should not be later than eighteen months including the period spent on delimitation of wards, registration of eligible voters etc.

The Advocate also told that in 2022, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha amended the HSGM Act, 2014 which incorporated new second Proviso in Sec 16(8) which stipulates that Provided further that if elections under Section 11 are not held within the period of eighteen months, a new Adhoc Committee shall be nominated by the Government for a further period of eighteen months or till the elections are held, whichever is earlier.

Since the very first Elections to constitute regular Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee are yet to be conducted and it seems unlikely, at least as on date, if such Election would be conducted in next couple of months particularly as the next Haryana State Assembly General Elections are also scheduled in Sep-Oct, 2024, hence the constitution/nomination of new Adhoc Committee is indispensable.

Hemant has raised one more interesting but significant legal point that since section 16(8) of the HSGM Act, 2014 mentions the nomination of a 41-member Adhoc committee and not a maximum 41-member committee, hence the Adhoc Committee must comprise 41 members and not less than that. The previous Adhoc Committee was only 38-member as was notified on 1 December 2022 under the signature of the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department of the Haryana Government, TVSN Prasad (currently also the Chief Secretary of the state). Hence it would be worth watching whether the State Government would now nominate 38 or else 41 members, as is legally mandated, in the newly constituted (nominated) Adhoc Committee, Hemant also told that in September 2022, the Supreme Court of India declared the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014 as constitutional and legally valid.

Have something to say? Post your comment