M A I N   N E W S

Probe nails gurdwara panel chief; govt moves in for the kill
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 14
The state government has initiated a move to remove Kashmir Singh Patti, president, Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC), following his alleged indictment in probe by a senior IAS officer.

Patti was nominated member of the commission by the Amarinder Singh government. Earlier too, Patti, who was nominated member of the SGJC in 1989 during the Governor rule, was removed by the Badal government on January3,1999.

The removal of Patti as president, SGJC, will give relief to the SAD and the SGPC in cases filed against members of both Sikh institutions in the commission. By removing Patti, the SAD wants to pave the way for nominating a person who will be of help dismiss the cases against leaders of both the SAD and the SGPC in the coming days . The SGJC president confirmed his receiving the show-cause notice. However, he refused to give details of the notice.

In the notice, served on the SGJC president, chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh directed him to submit his reply within five days. He alleged that the state government received complaints from Harbeant Singh, secretary, SGPC, Dayal Singh, former deputy secretary, and Didar Singh of Batala levelling serious allegations regarding his conduct, partiality, judicial propriety and overstepping of jurisdiction.

He further stated that senior IAS officer S.S. Brar, financial commissioner, Excise and Taxation, was appointed look into these allegations. He added that “most of the allegations” had been proved against Patti . “After a careful examination of the inquiry report, the government is prima facie of the view action under Section 79 (i) and (iii) of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, is warranted for against Patti for removal from the membership/ chairmanship of the SGJC.

The state government, perhaps, for the first time ordered a high-level inquiry against the president of the SGJC with the sole aim of having complete control over it. The two other members of the SGJC were already nominated from the panel of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee.

One of the complainants is Harbeant Singh who himself was removed as secretary, SGPC, during the presidentship of late Gurcharan Singh Tohra on charges of getting job on “fake matriculation certificate”. However, he was reinstated after the death of Tohra .

Panthic circles said the action against the SGJC chief amounted to direct intervention by the state government into the only Sikh institution having judicial powers .

In his confidential report, submitted to the chief secretary, Brar, inquiry officer, stated in the report that he had visited Amritsar, along with Dipinder Singh, presiding officer, on April 25 and spoken to SGPC officials and other persons in the information office to have first-hand impression of the situation. The report alleged, “It was revealed to us that the president of the SGJC is not conducting himself in a manner expected of the president of an august body”.

The report alleged that Patti conspired with some persons, including sacked additional secretary, SGPC, and would instigate them into filing frivolous cases against the SGPC and dragged it into avoidable embarrassment to suit the personal and political interests of such persons .

The report also accused Patti of passing interim orders restraining elected members of the SGPC from casting their votes in the elections of the SGPC. It stated that an allegation was made that Sucha Singh Langah, a member of the SGPC (now minister), had organised 100 Ramayna paths in violation of the Sikh code of conduct.



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