SC grants 4 weeks to Centre to reply to plea to declare 'Guru Govind Singh's Prakash Parv as holiday

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday granted four more weeks to the Centre for filing its response to a plea seeking to declare as national holiday the birthday of ''Guru Govind Singh Jee'', the tenth guru of Sikhs which is celebrated as the 'prakash parv'.

The top court on January 18 had issued notices to the Centre and all the states on the petition of 'All India Shiromani Singh Sabha' which has also sought directions to the authorities to issue “specific guidelines for declaration of public or gazetted holiday” in the country. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was told by senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the 'Sabha', that the Central government has not filed its response.

Attorney General K K Venugopal sought four weeks more for the Centre for filing the response which was allowed by the bench which also comprised justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

Earlier, senior advocate Vikas Singh on January 18, had requested an early hearing of the plea so that the Guru Gobind Singh''s birthday is declared a national holiday from this year itself.

The 'prakash parv' of the tenth Sikh Guru was celebrated on January 20.

The petition sought appropriate directions to the Centre “to declare the Tenth Sikh Guru 'Guru Govind Singh Jee' Prakash Parv as Gazetted/Public Holiday to be observed all over India including but not restricted to the States/Union Territories of India in which the Sikhs have significant population as well as in the States which is connected to the life and activities of Tenth Sikh Guru 'Guru Govind Singh Jee'.” The petition filed by advocate Durga Dutt said that “in the absence of any guiding principles of any authority regarding declaration of gazetted holiday in India, the executives at the behest of political groups who are in government, declare the holidays at their whims and fancies, serving the political purpose of appeasement of a particular section of the public.” “Because of the situation above, the important birth anniversary of tenth Sikh Guru ''Guru Govind Singh Jee'', who is a great religious icon for significant Sikh community world wise as well as socio, nationalistic and patriotic figure for all Indians, has not yet been declared gazetted/public holiday in India, for which the petitioner in particular, is deeply aggrieved of,” the petition said.

The plea sought to “enforce fundamental rights of equality before the law as regards the determination of a uniform non arbitrary policy for declaring any day as Gazetted/Public holiday in India”.

It said a representation for declaring the Tenth Guru Govind Singh Jee Prakash Parv as Gazetted or Public holiday across the country was made to the Prime Minister on October 5, 2020. “The Petitioner is aggrieved of the decision of the Government, even in the aftermath of the representation dated 05.10.2020 of the petitioner, whereby no consideration even has been shown by the Government for declaring the holiday,” it said. PTI ABA SJK RKS RKS