Rajya Sabha passes Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Rajya Sabha has passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 without any discussion.
The Bill proposes to amend the some provisions of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 retrospectively with effect from October, 2003.
- The amendment bill removes exception given to Sahjdhari Sikhs in 1944 to vote in the elections to members of the Board and the Committees constituted under the parent Act.
- The proposed amendment was carried out by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) Notification dating October 2003 that had debarred Sahjdhari Sikhs voting rights.
- The notification was issued in exercise of the powers conferred by the Parliament under section 72 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966.
The Bill was proposed after the MHA’s notification was quashed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. Since 1949, Sehajdhari Sikhs are continuously exercising their voting rights in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.