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    Punjab and Haryana High Court orders examination of legal sanctity of Hukamnama in relation to Sikh religion

    The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered an examination into the legal validity of Hukamnama, which is an injunction, order, or edict from the Guru Granth Sahib to the Sikhs. The court has appointed Advocate Baljinder Singh Sra as an amicus curiae to assist on the question. This decision was made while granting interim bail to Sanjay Rai, who is accused of insulting the Sikh community by claiming himself to be the incarnation of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s soul. The case against Sanjay Rai was filed under Section 295-A of the IPC at the Sadar Division E police station, District Police Commissionerate Amritsar on December 23, 2022.

    During the hearing, counsel for the complainant contended that the Hukamnama states that only the Guru Granth Sahib should be worshipped as the sole Guru and that no one else should be regarded as such. After examining the case, Justice Sandeep Moudgil found no prima facie evidence that any insult had been caused to the Sikh community. However, the court stated that the legal validity of Hukamnama and any provisions of law that prohibit individuals from preaching the Sikh religion as a follower would require scrutiny.

    The high court has appointed Advocate Baljinder Singh Sra to assist the court, along with Senior Advocate Atul Lakhanpal, who is representing the petitioner. The court also granted interim bail to Sanjay Rai, subject to the provision of personal surety/security bonds, as no offense was made out under Section 295-A of the IPC.

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