A B.C. Supreme Court Justice has dismissed a challenge to the election earlier this year of the executive for the Guru Gobind Singh Temple Association.
Avtar Singh Grewal had filed an action against the association, its current president, Narinder Singh Pawar, and its past president, Surinder Singh Bhatti, after the nomination papers for the slate he was leading were rejected and the current executive was acclaimed in February.
The forms submitted by the Grewal slate for president, vice-president, secretary, vice-secretary, treasurer and two members at large had been turned down by the executive in place at the time because in each case the nominee had nominated himself.
However, in his action, Grewal argued the association's bylaws were silent as to the content of the nomination forms and the forms should not have been denied on a technicality.
In response, the respondents submitted the forms have been in use since 1974 and it is a consistent requirement that they be nominated and seconded by third parties.
In a reasons for judgment issued Thursday, Justice Richard Goepel agreed with the respondents, saying the association "had a long -standing tradition or custom that candidates must be nominated by others" and is "sufficiently well established to have the status of a rule."
Goepel also rejected Grewal's submission that any questions concerning the forms should have been decided by an independent observer, saying the election's presiding officer fills that role but is given no power concerning candidates' eligibility.
"The independent observer is only appointed after the candidates have been nominated and his appointment is subject to the approval of the candidates," Goepel found.
And Goepel denied Grewal's submission that the opposing candiates' nominations should have been rejected because some had failed to complete the form's service provision, finding it has never been a practice or custom to mandate completion of that section.