SEHAJDHARI SIKH PARTY ( SSP)
(Also known as Sehajdhari Sikh Federation-SSF )
It is a registered Political party under section 29(A) of the Representation of People Act 1951 with the Election Commission of India in the name of Sehajdhari Sikh Federation but the name has been changed to Sehajdhari Sikh Party in light of the resolution dated 29 March 2011 of the party and is under consideration of the Election Commission.
It is one of the first registered political party of the Sehajdhari Sikhs (non-Baptised Sikhs) in the World who represents 85% of the World Sikh Population in this modern age.
What was the need to form this Party:-
The SHIROMANI GURUDWARA PRABANDHAK COMMITTEE is a supreme administrative body corporate under the Sikh Gurudwara Act 1925 which governs the Sikh Shrines in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pardesh (old Punjab before 1966 partition). The SGPC has 170 members which are elected by the Sikh voters and 14 members are co-opted.The Sehajdhari Sikhs were given the voting right in the SGPC elections by the Parliament from 1949. The right to vote continued for more than half a century but in 2002 the SGPC passed resolutions to debar the Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in the SGPC elections. In 2003 when the BJP-RSS led Government of the National Democratic Allaince (NDA) where Sh.Lal Krishan Advani was the Deputy Prime Minister cum- Home Minister, on 8 Oct, 2003 the Central Govt. issued a notification and amended the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925 by an Executive Order and debarred the Sehajdhari Sikhs by desfrenching their long standing voting right in one stroke. Like wise majority of Sikhs were thrown out from the main stream labeling them a Patits.
NOTIFICATION OF THE HOME MINISTRY DATED 8 OCTOBER 2003 AMMENDING THE ACT WAS CHALLENGED BY SSF IN PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT
At that moment on 13 April 2003 many like minded Sikhs born in Sikh families held a congregation by holding Ardas at Gurudwara Tahliana Sahib Raekot District Ludhiana and formed an Organization Sehajdhari Sikh Federation and challenged the move of the SGPC but mean the notification was issued on 8 Oct 2003. Then the Organization held Ardas at Shri Akal Takht sahib on 4 Nov 2003 and converted it into a political party and approached the Election Commission of India where it has been registered as a Political Party. The Party challenged the notification of the Central Govt. in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
EVENTS OF THE CASE FROM THE DAY ONE OF THE START OF THE CASE IN THE PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
The case was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and mean while in the pendency of the case the central Government announced the Election of the SGPC in 2004 and the Sehajdhari Sikh federation refilled an application for stopping the elections till the final decision of the case but the Court did not interfere in the Elections. The Court passed an interim Order that as the petitioners have approached the court well in time, the elections if held will be subject to the out come of the writ petition.
Unfortunately the time passed away but the Justice was delayed and the new elected SGPC House carried on its functions for more than five years and in 2011 the new election was announced on–
|August 3,2011||The Sehajdhari Sikh Federation again approached the High Court with a prayer to stop the
election till the decision of the case but again the High Court passed similar directions but made the election process subject to the writ petition.
|September 1,2011||Center Govt.’s Standing Counsel withdrew the notification dated 8 Oct,2003 from the Court stating that it was issued without application of mind. The elections of the SGPC became standstill.|
|September 2,2011||Center back tracks as Union Home Minister P.C.Chidambram issued a statement in the Parliament that Adv. Harbhagwan Das was not their Counsel in the High Court and they had no intention to withdraw the notification.|
|September 16, 2011||Sehajdhari Sikh Federation approached Supreme Court and SC said the election Process will be subject to the High Court Verdict and directed the High Court to finish up the matter within one month.|
|September 18,2011||The elections were held and Akali Dal Badal made a clean sweep to the poll.|
|December 5, 2011||15 members co-opted to the house of SGPC.|
|December 17,2012||Center Govt. issued notification constituting the house but in the notification at the end it was categorically mentioned that this constitution of the house shall be subject to the High Court verdict.|
|December 20, 2011||The Full Bench of Punjab & Haryana High Court Quashed the 2003 notification debarring the Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in the SGPC elections.|
The election held on 18 Sept 2012 became a nullity and the newly elected SGPC House became null and void and the Central Government failed to give permission to hold the 1stgeneral House meeting for the elections of the Office Bearers due to the High Court verdict and Supreme Courts interim directives.
- February 17, 2012:- SGPC approached Supreme Court and challenged the High Court Judgment. The Supreme Court issued notice to the parties and did not give any Stay against the High Court verdict. The Center said the SC orders are ambiguous and sought clarification from the Court.
- March 30, 2012:- The Supreme Court passed an agreed order on the consent of all the parties and allowed the 15 members Executive Committee of the Old House of the SGPC to manage the affairs of the SGPC.
- Proceedings going on in Supreme Court ..last dates of hearing were 28 Aug 2012 and now the next date was 30 Nov but due to non service of summons to concerned parties the case will be taken up in Last week of January 2012.
Next dates of the case are going on and the interim order continues till date. No Stay has been granted to the SGPC against the High Court Verdict and voting Right of the Sehajdhari Sikhs prevail till today.
For detail read NEWS PAGE “ The fate of the Newly elected SGPC hangs in Balance” ( An Article Published by the TRIBUNE dated July 27,2012)
JUDGEMENT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
JUDGEMENT OF GURLEEN KAUR’S CASE WHERE THE SSF WAS NOT HEARD AND THE CASE WAS SEPERATED
LEGAL STATUS OF THE PRESENT SGPC
Presently the SGPC elected on 18 September 2011 and notified by the Central Govt by a notification on 17 Dec 2012 is null and void as the Board was constituted only subject to the writ petition of the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation which was pending adjudication before the Punjab and Haryana High Court but when the Judgment of the Court was pronounced on 20 Dec 2012 in favour of the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation and the notification of the Central Govt. debarring the Sehajdhari sikh voting rights was quashed by the full bench of High Court , the entire Election process of the SGPC became a nullity due to which the newly elected Board became non-functional. The Central government could not give permission to the newly elected members of the Board to hold their Ist General House meeting to elect their new Office Bearers and hence the SGPC approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by filing a Special Leave Petition against the Judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Fortunately the Supreme Court did not allow the new House to function as no Stay was granted to the SGPC against the order of the High Court. On 30 March 2012 the Supreme Court passed an agreed order by the consent of all the parties and allowed the 15 members Executive Committee of the Old House of SGPC to control the affairs of the SGPC mean while as the budget and other expenses and functions were non operational. Now the present 170 elected members of the SGPC are of no valid origin and they are non functional. Only the Old SGPC Executive body consisting of 15 Members is operational to run the affairs of the SGPC. The case is still pending adjudication before the Supreme Court. The Voting Right of the Sehajdhari Sikhs in the SGPC prevails on today as the Supreme Court has passed no directions against the High Court Judgment quashing the notification dated 8 Oct 2003 which amended the Gurdwara Act 1925.