Amritsar, Punjab: The petition challenging the appointment of high profile Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee (SGPC) auditor SS Kohli before the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission was withdrawn here on Monday for lack of relevant documents.
When the petition came up for hearing before the commission, petitioner Baldev Singh Sirsa of the Akali Dal (Panj Pradhani) once again expressed his helplessness in procuring the relevant documents pertained to the appointment of Kohli as auditor in 2009, his dismissal by the SGPC executive on July 11 this year and subsequent reinstatement on July 17.
Also missing from the list of documents was the August 23 order of the executive, giving its consent to the continuation of Kohli with the SGPC. The petitioner had filed the case on July 22 in the commission on the basis of newspaper reports, which he had attached with the petition.
The commission, while admitting the petition for hearing on July 24, had directed the petitioner to attach all relevant documents related to the case.
During subsequent hearings of the case on August 7 and 22, the commission kept reminding the petitioner about the documents. Each time, the petitioner pleaded that he had filed an application for getting the documents under the RTI (Right to Information) Act before the relevant authorities, but he was yet to receive those documents.
The petitioner again made a similar plea before the commission during the hearing on Monday. The petitioner pleaded that he be allowed to withdraw this petition and to file a fresh one at a later stage with all relevant documents.
Thereafter, with the permission of the commission, the petition was withdrawn.
While seeking dismissal of Kohli, the petitioner claimed that his appointment as auditor was against the rules, as the SGPC already had three auditors and another was not required. The petition also pointed to the flawed manner of his appointment.
According to the petition, no person with a monthly salary of above ` 7,000 can be appointed to the SGPC directly by its president — the post has to be advertised and then the appointment must be made. However, in case of Kohli, who is said to be close to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the rule was not followed.
The petition also pointed out that Kohli was a burden on the SGPC exchequer as his annual pay package was around ` 1 crore, which was being paid to him from ‘guru-ki-golak’ (offerings of devotees at gurdwaras).
The petition pointed out such ‘sacred offerings’ should be utilised for the welfare of masses and not for the “welfare” of an individual.
The petition also calls for the dismissal of SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and secretary Dalmegh Singh for having flouted procedures and rules. In this context the petition refers to the recent sacking and reappointment of Kohli by the SGPC executive.
DAL KHALSA SLAMS SGPC EXECUTIVE
The Dal Khalsa has slammed the SGPC executive for taking a U-turn in the Kohli case.
Spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said Kohli’s reinstatement had no logic, as the executive had fired him for allegedly his failure to perform his duty with fairness and seriousness and for ignoring orders of the SGPC president and the executive and for interference in the administrative affairs of the gurdwara body.
He wondered whether the executive had cleared him from all these accusations before reinstating him. He claimed that the Badals were clearly behind Kohli getting back his post.