August 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India
Siropa scam at Takht Kesgarh Sahib
Amritsar, August 14
The four-member inquiry committee constituted by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee last year has called Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, Secretary, to explain his position on August 21 as to why tenders were opened in the absence of members of the Purchase Committee.
The inquiry committee comprising Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura, Mr Arwinder Singh Pakhoke, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur and Mr Mohinder Singh Romana was constituted when SGPC member of the ruling SAD, Mr Puran Singh Josh, raised objections.
Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, General Secretary, SGPC, and member of the inquiry committee, said that the report would be submitted to the president next week.
She said the length of cloth, measuring 60,000 metres, had been already sent back to the bogus firm when found sub-standard, yet the secretary could not escape the responsibility, being executive head of the body.
However, Mr Josh alleged that before clearing tenders of the bogus firm, security of Rs 1 lakh was not got deposited by Dr Bachan. When the cloth was found sub-standard after laboratory tests, the security deposits could have been forfeited.
Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura, Executive member and member of the inquiry committee, alleged that Dr Bachan had already been indicted by the then senior vice-president, the late Balbir Singh Pannu for the serious lapse in the deal.
Mr Josh claimed that had he not raised objections over the sub-standard material supplied by the Jalandhar-based firm, it could have earned lakhs of rupees per annum. As per the details available, the firm was to be given a monthly order of supplying 30,000 metres of cloth to the SGPC at the rate of Rs 18 while better quality cloth was available at a much less rate in Amritsar.
Mr Josh alleged that while calling tenders for the second time, the tender of the Jalandhar-based bogus firm was also called. However, after the objection, the firm was black-listed.
He said exemplary punishment should be given to those found guilty. He, however, said that some members of the inquiry committee did not attend the meetings.
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