Haryana appoints Justice HS Bhalla as Gurdwara elections commissioner
Chandigarh: The Haryana government has appointed Justice HS Bhalla (retd) as the Commissioner, Gurdwara elections. A retired judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Bhalla is also the chairman of the Law Commission in Haryana.
“In exercise of the powers conferred under Sub-section (1) of Section 13 of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014 (22 of 2014), the Governor of Haryana hereby appoints Justice HS Bhalla (retd) as Commissioner Gurdwara Elections. The terms and conditions of his appointment shall be issued later on”, the notification issued TVSN Prasad, additional chief secretary (home department), reads.
About a week ago, Mahant Karamjit Singh, the chief of the Yamunanagar-based Sewapanthi sect, was elected the new president of the ‘ad hoc committee’ of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC). The election was held in Kurukshetra.
Baljit Singh Daduwal, a prominent member of the ‘ad hoc committee’ and former HSGMC president, said he boycotted the proceedings after Mahant Karamjit Singh’s name was proposed for the post of president.
Notably, Mahant Karamjit Singh was among the Sikh spiritual leaders who were hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two days before the Punjab Assembly polls in February this year.
The meeting held at the prime minister’s official residence was seen as an attempt by the BJP to reach out to the Sikh community, which was considered to be upset with the Centre over the now-repealed farm laws.
In October this year, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stated that as per the order of the Supreme Court, the HSGMC election will be held within 18 months and till then the ‘ad hoc committee’ will look after the functioning of the gurdwaras.
The Supreme Court in September this year upheld the validity of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014. The verdict had cleared the way for the HSGMC to control all gurdwaras in the state. However, days after the apex court judgment, infighting broke out within the HSGMC.