SAD urges PM to stop attempts to amend Delhi Gurdwara Act

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New Delhi, Jan 5 (UNI) Charging the present leadership of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Committee with lobbying for a change in the law concerned to continue in office, the Akali Dal (Badal)'s state unit has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stop any such move.

''We understand that certain quarters with a view to continuing in office are bringing in pressure at the quarters concerned in the Delhi government to bring an amendment to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1971 through promulgation of an Ordinance for providing that the term of office of the President and Office-bearers will not be subject to any limitation of time period,'' state SAD chief Avtar Singh Hit wrote in the letter, copies of which have been sent to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and state Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.

Noting that this amendment would facilitate the present office-bearers' continuance for the entire four-year-term of the committee, he termed such a move ''contary to the philosophy'' of the legislation. ''Any move in this direction for saddling the existing incumbents in the office will be contary to the democratic ethos in general and Sikh precepts in particular,'' he added.

Noting Section 16 of the Act provides one-year term for the president and other office-bearers, with the provision of a further one-year term but not beyond that, Mr Hit also mentioned that Section 4 stipulates election of 46 members to the committee from various constituencies in the city and nomination of nine members.

He said there was every possibility that a person who had not faced an election could be nominated as a member and eventually made president.

Mr Hit urged the Prime Minister to order establishment of a committee of Sikh intellectuals to comprehensively examine the proposals for amendments and make recommendations, as several Sikh organisations had been urging for the last few years, rather than allow ''stop-gap ad hoc amendments to facilitate certain quarters''.

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