Hold gurdwara elections by Dec 31: SC

"You are trying to take shelter under the proposed Bill, but that can hardly be a ground. We cannot help it. You will have to conduct the election by end of this year," it said.

The bench turned down a request by the counsels to add in its dismissal order that the elections will be subject to the new legislation, so that the amendments are brought into force even though the elections are held under the old regime.

"We have already disposed of the matter and there is nothing pending before us. How can we say anything like this? Let there be a separate plea whenever it is raised in a proper manner," the court said.

Sheila Dikshit's government and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal have been at loggerhead over management of gurdwara affairs, seen as a route to control the Sikh vote bank in the Capital. The government's plan to amend the Act to allow direct election to the post of president has kicked off a row.

Badal has accused the Delhi government of interfering in the management of gurdwaras to foist loyalists into the committee.

He said the government was delaying elections to the DSGMC, currently led by Akali Dal (Delhi) which enjoys the support of the ruling Congress in Delhi.

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