Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SGPC won’t pay court fee, gives up Bluestar case

Abhinav Garg | TNN 

New Delhi: Putting an end to anearly three-decade-old legal battle for Rs 1,000 crore compensation from the Union government for the 1984 Operation Bluestar, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday informed the Delhi high court it is withdrawing its suit. 

    In a three-page affidavit filed before Justice M L Mehta, the SGPC informed that by a resolution passed on March 8, 2013, the SGPC executive committee decided to withdraw the suit that claimed compensation of Rs 1,000 crore for the damages caused to the Golden Temple in the operation carried out by the Army in 1984. 

    The SGPC in its affidavit says it took stock of the case and of the objections raised by the Central government and observed that the maintainability of the suit is yet to be decided. The SGPC said if the court fee of about Rs 10 crore is paid on the amount claimed, it will be “sheer wastage of money spent on court fee, which is the hard-earned money donated by devotees” if the case is decided against it. 

    The money will “go in vain” the SGPC argued in its affidavit seeking liberty to withdraw its suit. On Monday, Justice Mehta was informed by the counsel for SGPC that its office-holder Mangat Singh was unable to be present in court and if granted time he will appear to give an undertaking to withdraw the suit. Justice Mehta then adjourned the case and posted it for hearing for April 22. The affidavit marks an end to a suit that was instituted in an Amritsar court in 1985 and was later transferred to the Delhi HC. 

    In January, 2013, the HC began hearing the case but following the revised court fee system, directed the SGPC to first deposit Rs 10 crore as fee if it wanted to pursue the case. 

    When the committee expressed its helplessness in paying such a huge amount claiming it is “indigent” organization, the HC brushed aside these arguments and gave it eight weeks to deposit the fee.
with thanks : Times of India : LINK

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