Punjab Govt, SGPC to challenge HC order on Sikh minority case

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Chandigarh, Dec 18 (UNI) The Punjab government and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee have decided to move the Supreme Court against yesterday's decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the Punjab government notifications giving SGPC institutions minority tag with 50 per cent reservations for ths Sikh community.

The division bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ajai Lamba had yesterday allowed a writ petition filed by a Barnala student Sahil Mittal, who had challenged the notifications due to which he was denied admission in SGPC-run institutions.

Describing the High Court decision as a setback for the Sikh community, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said the committee will challenge it in the apex court.

An official spokesman also stated that the state government was committed to safeguarding the ''interests of the minorities'' and would legally contest the High Court order quashing its notifications.

The notifications were issued on April 13, 2001 and April 1, 2006 whereby the educational institutions run by the SGPC in Punjab had been allowed to have 50 per cent reservation for the Sikh students, being a minority.

The bench had observed that the Punjab government has not applied the relevant parameters for declaring a group of individuals to be a minority.

The Supreme Court in 2002 had ruled that while determining the status of minority for reservation in educational institutions, the population of the minority group in that particular state, would be the basis and not the minority status granted in the country through the Constitution.

This was quoted in support of a plea to quash reservation of 50 per cent seats to Sikh students only in SGPC-run educational institutions in Punjab.

UNI

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