:Speaking on the inquiry conducted into the case of missing saroops of Guru Granth Sahib, Giani Harpreet Singh, SGPC-appointed acting Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib, has stated that the SGPC has kept its publication department under which the saroops are printed, reserved for the employees who were perceived as corrupt, insincere and incapable. According to him, this was also a major reason behind the irregularities, fabrication, and manipulation in the record related to Guru Granth Sahib’s saroops.
In an interview given to a TV channel, he disclosed the internal facts related to the inquiry done by the Telangana High Court lawyer Ishar Singh-led panel constituted by him. “During the inquiry, I saw that the publication department was given the least importance in the SGPC. It was kept on the 4th or 5th rank in order of superiority. For instance, the employees who were non-functional or incapable were shifted to this important department. Moreover, corrupt and insincere employees were also deputed in this section. This added woes to the vulnerability of this section and acted as a major factor that led to the issue of missing saroops,” he said.
He held the SGPC officials responsible for transferring such employees to the vital department which does the most important task in the Sikh religion, the printing of saroops. “Actually, the officials do not let the elected office-bearers of the gurdwara body know the internal matters and manage on their own level. In such a system, the scope of the scams and irregularities is heavily prevalent. This is the reason, the SGPC office bearers have taken stringent action against those indicted in the inquiry report,” he added.
Making disclosure about the controversial Chartered Accountant firm SS Kohli and Associates that also played a major role in the case and services of which have been terminated by the SGPC on recommendations of the report, Giani Harpreet Singh said, “This firm was caused great loss to the exchequer of the SGPC as it was only doing 25 percent of the work assigned to it, but the SGPC was paying it full charges which are approximately Rs. 1 crore per annum.”
Notably, this firm’s services were hired in 2009. Owing to its proximity with the Badal family, its services were never terminated earlier, despite the demands raised by the Sikh masses.
He also revealed that he promised the inquiry panel that exemplary action would be taken against the guilty or he would quit as acting Jathedar of the highest Sikh temporal seat. He expressed satisfaction over the action taken by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) against those indicted in the report.