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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 25, 2007
Supreme Court to hear Dera Sacha Sauda petition to May 27(lead: Dera Sacha)
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Supreme Court to hear Dera Sacha Sauda petition to May 27(lead: Dera Sacha)

The Supreme Court has advanced to May 27 the hearing of a petition seeking protection to the properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda and its followers all across the country in view of an ultimatum issued by the Akal Takht.

New Delhi, May 25 : The Supreme Court has advanced to May 27 the hearing of a petition seeking protection to the properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda and its followers all across the country in view of an ultimatum issued by the Akal Takht.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D K Jain, which had earlier fixed the hearing for June 4, passed the present order subsequently when it was told that the ultimatum given by the Akal Takht for the closure of the Dera Sacha and its units would expire on May 27 and the petition should be heard at least on the same day.

The petition was filed by Abhijeet Bhagat, Trustee Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Haryana), Mr Gurdas Singh of Ganga Nagar (Rajasthan) and Ompir Singh of Meerut (UP).

It was contended in the petition that since the Punjab government had turned a blind eye to the 27th May ultimatum, the petitioners were forced to approach the apex court seeking protection of their fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The petition said there were 160 branches of Deras spread over 13 states, having a following of about 3 crore people.

Besides the Union government, 13 states including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan have been arrayed as respondents in the petition.

Earlier, Justice Pasayat had observed that such issues should be resolved politically at the government level.

The court said that the matter was for the Punjab Government to handle and the court would not like to intervene at this juncture.

The court will also take up another petition filed on a similar issue then. A Public Interest Litigation seeks protection to the lives and properties of both the Sikhs and Dera sect followers.

On May 20, the Akal Takht served an ultimatum to the Punjab Government to close down all the Dera camps in the State by May 27.

On Thursday, Badal held an emergency meeting of his party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLAs and MPs on the differences with the Dera Sacha Sauda.

Badal has assured the Dera sect of full protection.

After the meeting, Badal said that nobody will be allowed to harm the Deras and peace will be maintained at all cost in the State.

A sectarian row was sparked off last week after the publication of an advertisement in which Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh was shown in a dress similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs.

The Sikh body has since been demanding that the Dera shut all of its camps in Punjab.

Gurmeet Singh has expressed regret, but Sikh leaders are not satisfied and want a public apology, which he has refused to give so far.

Skirmishes between rival groups flared into mob violence last week when the Akal Takht urged Sikhs to boycott the Dera Sacha Sauda sect.

One person was killed and over 50 were injured in sectarian clashes in different cities, mainly in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu.

ANI

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