Kauni could be in further trouble

Muktsar, Punjab: A three-time Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member, Navtej Singh Kauni, who is already in the dock for attending “naam charcha” at Dera Sacha Sauda in Bhullar village on May 16, could be in fresh trouble.

Documents procured by a resident of Muktsar district under the RTI Act reveal that Kauni owned a retail liquor vend and a tavern in Patiala and a company registered on his son’s name obtained the L-13 licence to sell liquor in Bathinda.

The documents show that Kauni owned a retail liquor vend and a tavern at Tripuri in Patiala during the financial year 2000-01.

Also, a company on the name of his son, Sukdeep Singh, had the L-13 licence to sell country liquor in Bathinda. Baptised Sikhs are banned from consuming liquor or any other intoxicant. When approached, Kauni said: “I am aware of those who have launched a propaganda against me. If they have obtained documents under the RTI Act showing a liquor vend allotted on my name, then they must be correct.”

When probed further, he said: “Yes I was into the liquor business. But what is wrong with that?”

Kauni said he had been elected SGPC member since 1996 from the Doda constituency. This shows that at the time when he was running the liquor vend, he was an SGPC member.

Kauni was summoned by Akal Takht on July 26 to explain his presence at a function organised by Dera Sacha Sauda followers despite a ban by the Sikh high priests. But he sought exemption from the same on health grounds.

Earlier in 2011, the Sikh high priests had awarded a 15-day “tankhah” (punishment for religious misconduct) to Kauni for attending a Dera Sacha Sauda function in Doda village. When contacted, the Akal Takht chief, Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, said: “A Sikh, especially an SGPC member, should not do such business. In Sikhism, the use of intoxicants is forbidden.”

Source: The Tribune

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