The case for voting rights to Sehajdhari Sikhs got a new twist on Monday with a Amritsar resident filing a new petition in Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking stay over the constitution of new managing committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Satnam Singh also demanded quashing of a notification dated October 8, 2003 issued by the Central government barring Sehajdhari Sikhs from casting votes in SGPC elections.
No directions were issued on the petition as the Full Bench, presiding over the petition challenging the ban on voting rights to Sehajdhari Sikhs, tagged the fresh petition with the pending petitions. The petitioner said that he does not sport turban or beard and was thus not allowed to vote in the SGPC elections despite the fact that he has faith he goes to the Gurdwara and has faith in Guru Granth Sahib.
“The notification issued by the Central government deprives a vast majority of population which goes to the Gurdwara and has faith in Guru Grant Sahib and is thus illegal” reads the petition.
He said that the Punjab Police had arrested him on April 11, 1990 after terming him an extremist. The reason for his arrest, Satnam alleged, was that he used to sport a beard and did not trim his turban. He said that he was let off by the police, after remaining in detention for over a week, because he had valuable information regarding terrorists, which helped the police in “restoring peace” in Punjab.