M A I N   N E W S

Minority Status
SC refuses to stay verdict on Sikhs
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, February 15
The Supreme Court today refused to stay the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment, which held that Sikhs were not a minority community in Punjab.

A Bench headed by the Chief Justice K.G. Balkrishnan issued notice to Sahil Mittal, a resident of Sangrur on whose writ, the High Court had struck down state government’s notification permitting the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to give 50 per cent reservation to Sikh students in colleges run by it.

However, standing counsel for the state of Punjab in Delhi Ajay Pal has claimed that the Supreme Court has not declined the grant of stay. Talking to The Tribune in Chandigarh today, he added that the SC has rather issued notice on the stay application.

The Punjab government and the SGPC have filed petitions seeking stay of the HC December 17, 2007, verdict.

Advocate Harish Salve appearing for the SGPC contended that the HC erred in law by striking down the minority status of the Sikh community. He submitted that going by the definition of Sikh as explained in the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, only around one third of the electorate of the state belonged to the community.

“There are several sects who believed in living gurus who could not be considered as Sikhs according to the Act and if it is accepted then Sikhs are clearly a minority,” Salve said referring to Nirankaris, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and Radha Soami. However, the Bench also comprising Justices C.K. Thakker and R.V. Raveendran said “if we go by this submission then Hindus will also become a minority as they are also followers of various sects”.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |