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Tuesday, November 2, 1999
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Gurdwara Act: clearing the doubts

UNDER Section 45, as it exists in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, a “Patit” can become a candidate for the SGPC and his nomination papers cannot be rejected on the ground of his being a “Patit”. If elected, he can continue as a member till it is established, on a complaint to the Judicial Commission, that he is a “Patit”.

According to the amendment proposed, no “Patit” can be a candidate and his nomination papers can be rejected if, on objection, it is found that after having taken “Amrit” he had committed a “Bajjar Kuraihat”. The misunderstanding created among the Sikhs that by this proposed amendment, a “Patit” would become qualified to be a member has no basis. This amendment has been proposed with the intention that only an “Amritdhari” who is not a “Patit” should become a member.

Another misunderstanding created is that in view of the amended definition of a “Sikh”, even a “non-Sikh” or “Sehajdhari” can be treated as a “Sikh”, qualified to vote. Only a Sikh with “unshorn hair” a “Keshadhari Sikh” who does not use tobacco in any form — can be a voter and if the disqualification of alcoholic drinks is desired to be retained even for voters, it may be done.

However, now that the entire matter of amendments in the 1925 Act is before the SGPC, it is for this organisation to reject, propose changes or substitute new amendments in place of those proposed by this commission.

This clarification is being issued to set the entire controversy at rest and to remove any doubts in the mind of the Sikh.

The proposed amendments sent to the central government were only in the form of suggestions, which have been made in normal official routine, and not as an effort to bypass the SGPC. In fact, for the first time a specific provision has been suggested by this commission, making it obligatory, for the government to consult the SGPC before making any amendment in the Act.

Justice Harbans Singh (retd)
Chief Commissioner,
Gurdwara Elections

* * * *

Bofors: let the court decide

The news item “Withdraw Rajiv’s name from charge sheet” (Oct 27) showed the chameleon-like character of our unethical politicians. Mr Harmohan Dhawan became a minister in the Chandra Shekhar government by winning the Chandigarh seat, riding high on the anti-Rajiv wave following the media focus on the Bofors kickback case. But now, after a complete somersault, he is finding faults with the Bofors charge sheet. What a political change of colour!

In fact, the hue and cry raised by the Congress on the Bofors charge sheet clearly shows Congressmen’s own nervousness. Till now they were able to escape their exposure regarding their involvement in corruption cases by employing various tactics. They even toppled successive central governments, whenever they were threatened by the ghost of Bofors. But now it is the end of the road for them.

If they really feel that Rajiv Gandhi was innocent, then why can’t they wait till the court clears his name? Their threat of non-cooperation to the Vajpayee government even on vital issues of national interest is unfortunate.

A.K. Sharma

* * * *

PSEB’s primary responsibility

It has been reported that it takes 20 years or more for Punjab State Electricity Board employees to get a house loan, and some of them had even forgotten when their loan was sanctioned (Oct 26).

It seems the employees concerned were not in a hurry to construct their houses. There are so many agencies like banks, the LIC, the HDFC and HOUSEFED which grant loans in a matter of days after the receipt of applications. It is a tendency among the employees to apply for each and every loan/advance, whether needed or not, and this tendency leads to a long list of applicants.

The main function of the Punjab State Electricity Board, constituted under the Indian Electricity Supply Act, 1948, is proper operation and maintenance of generating stations, transmission lines and the LD system, and to ensure proper and quality supply to its consumers. Therefore, the board should primarily look into its main function.

The people, in general, are facing frequent interruptions in power supply and have a low voltage problem, and the system needs utmost attention. So, let the cases of house loans, etc, should be handled by agencies exclusively established for this purpose, and the PSEB should concentrate on its main function.

Tarun Joshi

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Power supply: clarification

This refers to the news item published on page 13 in The Tribune issue of October 25, under the caption “People decry power cuts” in the Bilaspur area.

It is clarified that routine incidents of power cuts for a short duration of two to four hours recently have been projected beyond proportions. In this regard, it is clarified that due to a shortfall in generation (owing to repair work at the generating stations feeding the northern grid) the power availability in the entire northern region was drastically reduced. Under these compelling circumstances, the board had to resort to load shedding.

Thus, contrary to what has been made out in the news item, it was neither a technical failure nor an administrative lapse on the part of officers and officials responsible for the maintenance of the electricity supply system in the Bilaspur area.

In fact, owing to the adequate repairs/maintenance undertaken during the past three months in the town by the HPSEB, power failures have been reduced to the minimum.

B.K. Rampal
Superintending Engineer,
(OP) Circle, HPSEB


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