Probe finds many gaps, Takht gives SGPC a week to act against guilty
Sikh clergymen discuss panel’s 1,000-page report that holds the apex gurdwara body guilty of mismanagement on many counts
AMRITSAR : Approving the report of an inquiry it had ordered into the missing saroops of Guru Granth Sahib, the Akal Takht on Monday asked the executive of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to act against the guilty within a week. The report was, however, not made public.
The 1000-page report was submitted by a panel led by Telangana High Court lawyer Ishar Singh and discussed by the Panj Singh Sahiban (Akal Takht jathedar-led Sikh clergymen) in a meeting held at the Takht secretariat here. The report holds the apex gurdwara body guilty of mismanagement on many counts.
Sharing the decisions taken in the meeting, Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said, “The inquiry has found that ledger of saroops is not maintained properly. The inquiry found cuttings and tampering in the closing and opening ledgers of the saroops. Ledgers of 2013-14 and 2014-15 show 328 saroops (not 267 as cited by the SGPC) missing in the SGPC publishing house in 2015.”
“Apart from this, as many as 186 saroops were printed and issued to sangat without authorisation and bills. These saroops were printed with the extra pages released by the publication department for waste pages. From 2015 to 2020, a difference has also been spotted between bills and receipts lying with the seller of the material used for printing,” he said.
The Takht jathedar said, “Not only ledgers were tampered with, the audit has not been conducted after 2016. This is great dishonesty and negligence. After going through the report, the Panj Singh Sahiban have ordered the SGPC to call its executive meeting on the short notice and take action against the officials and employees indicted in the report.” On the 2016 fire incident that took place in the publishing house at Gurdwara Ramsar Sahib, the Akal Takht expressed annoyance over the then SGPC executive committee and chief secretary’s failure in organising a ceremony to express regret for the damage to the saroops. The clergy has sought a clarification from those who were part of the executive committee and the then chief secretary, he said.
In the fire incident, as many as 14 saroops were damaged as per SGPC’S claim, but the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) that uncovered this matter after five years, claimed that the scale of the damage was much larger. But the jathedar did not make the report public, nor has he disclosed the name of any person indicted in the report.
Sikh high priests during a meeting at the Akal Takht secretariat in Amritsar on Monday.