High court gives nod for Delhi gurdwara polls


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Thursday gave the go-ahead to the Delhi government to conduct the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections, directing it to fix a fresh schedule for the polls soon.

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A division bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw allowed the plea of the Delhi government filed against a single judge’s order restraining it from issuing a notification for next month’s DSGMC elections.

The Feb 7 order of the single judge had directed the city government to update, within a month, the DSGMC electoral rolls with photographs of voters.

The directorate of gurdwara election (DGE) also challenged the order of Justice Vipin Sanghi ordering it to complete the exercise of delimitation in 46 wards within a month.

The government in its petition said that “the single judge had no right to pass such an order once the directorate has declared the schedule for the polls”.

On the delimitation of 46 wards, the government had said that it would take a long time and could be done only after the elections.

The high court said Thursday: “The process of delimitation and of preparation of fresh electoral rolls is undoubtedly a lengthy process and no error can be found in the lieutenant governor subsequently deciding to give more weightage to the holding of elections.”

The bench declined to interfere in the decision of the lieutenant governor.

Setting aside the order of the single judge, the high court said: “The work of delimitation and/or preparation of fresh electoral rolls, if found to be necessary, shall be undertaken immediately after the elections and ought be completed well in time so that such a situation does not occur when the next election becomes due.”

The single judge’s order had come on a petition filed by Harmohan Singh, a poll aspirant, alleging that the directorate had virtually announced the schedule for the election but the notification was yet to be issued.

The election is scheduled for March 11 and the filing of nomination papers by candidates would have started Feb 16, he said.

“The election of DSGMC on the basis of incomplete list of voters and without delimitation of wards will cause unfair representation of the members from each ward,” the petition said.

“A number of duplicate voters have been mentioned in the list and non-Sikhs also figure in the voters’ list,” it added.