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Commentary On The Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 - Book By Dr.Kashmir Singh

Foreword To 'Commentary On The Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925' By Dr.Kashmir Singh

Gurdwara Reform Movement 1920-25 is considered a glorious chapter in the Sikh history because it led to the passage of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925. The Act is termed as a remarkable achievement of the Sikhs in the twentieth century. The Sikhs got control of important Gurdwaras alongwith full freedom to manage them. Besides creating institutions like Sikh Gurdwaras Tribunal, Sikh Gurdawaras Judicial Commission, Local Gurdwara Committees, Gurdawara Election Commission , the Act impliedly legalized and recognized the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. It also provided for the composition, powers and functions of all these bodies. The Act was originally passed for the composite Punjab under the British rule. Partition took away a big chunk of Gurdwaras, including very important ones like Nankana Sahib, from the purview of the Act. But the extension of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act to PEPSU area in 1959 brought hundreds of Gurdwaras under the management created by the Act. It continues to be applicable to the areas of post-partition East Punjab and PEPSU and at present about a thousand Gurdwaras are managed in accordance with the provisions of this Act. Bifurcation of that area into Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh by the Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966 has not affected the jurisdiction of the Act. The SGPC has become inter-state body having jurisdiction in three States and one Union Territory. The Punjab Legislature had passed and later introduced important amendments into it from time to time. The Parliament by the Reorganisation Act 1966 has authorised the Central Government to amend the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 simply by issuing a notification. The Central Government has amended the Act substantially through this mode. The important amendments by such notifications are the creation of Gurdwara Election Commission , reservation of seats for women in the SGPC, deenfranchising the sehjdharis , recognition of Damdama Sahib as fifth Takhat of the Sikhs. It is a scholarly study containing a complete and updated version of the Act alongwith exhaustive analysis of its provision. The Sikhs all over the world look towards the SGPC, constituted by this Act, for guidance in religious and even in temporal matters. It is a thorough work on a statute which is of extreme importance for the Sikhs.

I hope that this work will be of immense use not only to the members of the Bar and the Bench but also to all those who are entrusted with or interested in  the management of Gurdwaras.

Guru  Nanak Dev University, Dr. S. P. Singh
Amritsar Vice-Chancellor


Preface To 'Commentary On The Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925' By Dr.Kashmir Singh

The book is a humble attempt to present the updated version of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 alongwith exhaustive commentary including almost all the notable judgements delivered by the Privy Council, the Supreme Court of India , the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Lahore High Court. Decisions of these courts have been appropriately incorporated and analysed. Not to talk of good material even bare version of the amended and updated Act is not available either in the market or in the offices of the institution which are created and governed by this Act. This will be the only Publication containing amendments made in the Act after 1966. Thus it will fill the gap in the availability of the legal literature that was overdue since long. It is a thorough study of the enactment, which ths Sikhs compelled the British Government to pass after a long drawn agitation. The Act was a pioneer legislation in the field of regulation of religious institutions.

The author is highly thankful to Dr. S. P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the University for his scholarly foreword and also for his interest in the publication of the book. I feel indebted to Justice Kuldeep Singh, former Judge, Supreme  Court of India for suggesting various improvements in this work and especially for advising the inclusion of the topic of Constitutional Validity of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act. Special thanks are due to Dr. Professor T.S. Mann, former Head, Department of Laws, who had initiated me in the study of this subject. My sincere thanks are due to my colleagues, both on the teaching and non-teaching side, in the Department of Laws for providing me necessary assistance and encouragemet to complete this work. I acknowledge the whole-hearted cooperation and assistance received from Advocate Sheraj Singh Hundal during the preparation of this book. I am also thankful to the staff members Press and Publication Department of the University for the accuracy and industry in bringing out this volume.

  Dr. Kashmir Singh
Guru Nanak Dev University  
Amritsar  

                        

Table Of Contents For 'Commentary On The Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925' By Dr.Kashmir Singh

CONTENTS

 
Foreword (i)
Preface (iii)
Contents (v)
Table of Cases  
History of Gurdwara Management 1
Gurdwara Reform Movement 5
History of Gurdwara Legislation 13
The Sikh Gurdwaras and Shrines Bill , 1921 13
The Sikh Gurdwaras and Shrines Act, 1922 15
The Sikh Gurdwaras and Shrunes Bill, 1925 20
History of Gurdwara Management in Pepsu 23
Scheme of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 31
State Control and Regulation of Religious Institutions 42
Constitutional Validity of Enactments relating to Religious Endowments 47
Constitutional Validity of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 54
Objects and Reasons of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act 1925 71
  THE SIKH GURDWARAS ACT 1925  
  Preamble 76
 

PART I

Chapter I

Preliminary

 
  Sections  
1. Short title, extent and commencement 76
2. Definitions 78
 

Chapter II

Petitions to the State Government relating to Gurdwaras

 
3. List of property of scheduled Gurdwara to be forwarded to the State Government 102
  (2) Declaration of scheduled gurdwara and publication of list forwarded under sub-section (1)  
  (3) Notices of claims to property entered in the consolidated list to be sent to persons shown as in possession  
  (4) Effect of publication of declaration and consolidated list under sub-section (2)  
4. Effect of omission to forward a list under section 3 114
5. Petitions of claim to property included in a consolidated list 114
  (2) Signing and verification of petitions under sub-section (1)  
  (3) Notification of property not claimed under sub-section (1) and effect of such notification  
6. Claim for compensation by a hereditary office-holder of a Notified Sikh Gurdwara or his presumptive successor 125
  (2) Signing and verification of petitions under sub-section (1)  
7. Petitions to have a gurdwara declared a Sikh Gurdwara 127
  (2) List of property claimed fot the gurdwara and of persons in possession thereof to accompany a petition under sub-section (1)  
  (3) Publication of petition and list received under sub-sections (1) and (2)  
  (4) Notice of claims to property to be sent to persons shown in the list as in possession  
  (5) Effect of publication of petition and list under sub-section (3)  
8. Petition to have it declared that a place asserted to be a Sikh Gurdwara is not such a gurdwara 135
9. Effect of omission to present a petition under section 8 146
  (2) Effect of publication of a notification under sub-section (1)  
10. Petition of claim to property included in a list published under sub-section (3) of Section 7 149
  (2) Signing and verification of petitions under sub-section (1)  
  (3) Notification of property not claimed under sub-section (1) and effect of such notification  
11. Claim for compensation by a hereditary office-holder of gurdwara notified under section 7 or his presumptive successor 161
 

Chapter III

Appointment of and Proceedings before a Tribunal

 
12. Constitution and procedure of tribunal for purposes of the Act 163
13. Procedure on difference of opinion 171
14. Tribunal to dispose of petition under sections 5,6,8,10 and 11 172
15. Power of tribunal to join parties and award costs 175
16. Issue as to whether a gurdwara is a Sikh Gurdwara to be decided first and how issue is to be decided  
17. Notification of Sikh Gurdwara on finding of tribunal 202
18. Presumption in favour of a Notified Sikh Gurdwara on proof of certain facts when a claim to property is made by an office-holder 2
Books
Author Dr.Kashmir Singh
Pages 500
Cover Hardbound
PUB GNDU
Language English

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