The Patna high court on Monday quashed its stay on the district judge’s order declaring null and void the election of office-bearers to the prabandhak committee of Takht Sri Harimandir Ji, Patna Saheb, on technical ground.
A division bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay passed the order on Amarjeet Singh’s appeal challenging the November 21 verdict of the high court’s single bench. The single bench had stayed the Patna district judge’s November 7 order declaring the office-bearers election, held on September 3 as null and void.
The division bench, however, permitted the petitioner to make necessary corrections so that the application may be converted into a civil writ petition. The matter might then be placed before an appropriate single bench for hearing afresh, the judges said.
The judges observed that the district judge had exercised his administrative power in his capacity as a custodian of the prabandhak committee. So the petition filed as a civil miscellaneous jurisdiction case against the district judge’s order was not maintainable, they said.
“The learned writ court has acted without jurisdiction and has committed material irregularity. In view of the above, we allow this appeal and quash the order dated 21.11.2017 passed by the learned writ court in a civil miscellaneous jurisdiction case,” the judges said.
The district judge, while hearing Amarjeet Singh’s petition, had declared the election to be illegal on the ground that it was not conducted in accordance with the provisions of the prabandhak committee’s bylaws.
The order was then challenged before a single bench of the high court by the prabandhak committee through its member Charanjit Singh. While staying the district judge’s order, the single bench had issued notices to five office-bearers of the committee and posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
Reacting to the Patna high court’s order, Charanjit Singh said the stay on the district judge’s order had been vacated on technical ground. A fresh petition would be heard on November 29, he said.
His rival Sarjendar Singh, however, described the order as “victory of justice.”
Sevadar Samaj Kalyan Samiti president Trilok Singh said he respected the decision of the high court and requested the rival groups keep away from the court battle and come on a single platform to celebrate the 351th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.
Former general secretary of the committee Mahendra Pal Singh Dhilon termed the infighting as disappointing and urged the rival groups to sit together to shed their differences.
The infighting was sending a wrong message to the Sikh community across the world ahead of Guru Gobind Singh’s 351st birth anniversary celebrations, said another prominent member of the community, Prem Singh.
26 Feb 2020
27 Feb 2020