Missing Guru Granth Sahib saroops: SGPC asked to release inquiry report under the RTI Act

AMRITSAR SAHIB, Punjab—As the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is adamant to not make its inquiry report of missing Guru Granth Sahib’s saroops case public, some Sikhs organizations are contemplating legal method to ensure that the report comes to the public domain so that the community comes to know about the role of every person in this case and full justice is ensured.

Even as the apex gurdwara body has taken action against its officials and employees indicted in the report prepared by Advocate Ishar Singh-led inquiry panel on Akal Takht Sahib’s direction and it is publicizing the action as biggest ever one in its 100–year history, it seems to be hesitant to make the report public. As a result, the questions arise on its integrity in delivering justice to the community. Even SGPC-appointed Akal Takht Sahib acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh is silent on this demand the Sikh bodies are raising.

The questions that arise are: Why is the SGPC not making the report public? Has the SGPC taken selective action by sparing some key officials and office-bearers indicted in the report? Will this report expose the widespread graft rampant in the SGPC?

The community wants to get answers to these questions. Keeping in view of this, former SGPC member and head of ‘Akal Purakh Ki Fauj’ organization Advocate Jaswinder Singh on Monday (August 31, 2020) lodged an application under theRight To Information (RTI) Act to the SGPC seeking a copy of the full inquiry report, apart from some other related documents.

In the plea, he also demanded the documents collected by the inquiry panel and on the basis of which, the report has been made. Besides, a copy of proceedings of the SGPC executive meeting during which it took the decision of taking action and a copy of the letters issued to the guilty regarding the action taken against them are also sought.

Such demand has been raised by many other organizations including the Punjab Human Rights Organization (PHRO) that uncovered the entire matter sending the SGPC into a fix, and individuals including the SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur and former Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Kewal Singh.

Meanwhile, the SGPC, as per the decision taken during the executive committee meeting, set up a panel to initiate legal action against some of the persons held guilty in the report. This panel will be led by SGPC general secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami and SGPC member Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, former district attorney Baltej Singh Dhillon and advocate Mohinder Singh Gill will be its members.

This panel will work for ensuring criminal cases against some guilty persons.

Ruling out the doubts on the fairness of the inquiry, the SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said none should play any kind of politics on the issue as it a sensitive matter.

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