HC refuses to stay Punjab govt ordinance scrapping Khalsa University


The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday refused to stay the Punjab government ordinance on repealing the Khalsa University Act, 2016. The order to repeal the law was promulgated on Thursday by the state government claiming that it was issued to “protect” the heritage character of Khalsa College, Amritsar.

The Khalsa University had challenged the government decision in the court and demanded that the ordinance be quashed. As an interim measure, it had sought stay on the implementation of the ordinance.

The high court bench of justice Rajesh Bindal and justice HS Sidhu, without issuing notice to state government, deferred the hearing for July 11.

The university had argued in the court that the reason to scrap the Act seemed to be “political” since it was established by the previous government run by a different party (SAD-BJP) and was scrapped by the Congress government.

It was also argued that there was no reason for the state to issue an ordinance as the monsoon session of assembly is scheduled for July. There was no emergency to invoke the provisions of promulgating an ordinance, it was argued.

The cabinet had given its nod for the scrapping the university in April to “protect” the glorious legacy of the 125-year-old Khalsa College.

The ordinance, called the Khalsa University (Repeal) Ordinance, 2017, came into force on Thursday.

The Khalsa University, Amritsar, was established through the Act by the previous SAD-BJP alliance government despite huge criticism from not only the residents of Amritsar but also from the alumni of the college and intellectuals of the state, the Congress government has claimed.

Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had all along maintained that the move by the Khalsa College Society to “destroy” its rich heritage status by converting this prestigious institution into university was “appalling”.

With input from HT