India: SGPC chief to probe land deal during Makkar’s tenure

10 August 2017
Author(s)
Kamaldeep Singh Brar
india farmland
india farmland
Language of the news reported
English

The order to probe the deal was passed on a complaint by Amritsar-based petitioner Baldev Singh Sirsa. Badungar had replaced Makkar as SGPC chief, and both are reportedly not on good terms.
 

The Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission has ordered a probe into a Rs 2.7 crore land deal for Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, Ropar, during the tenure of former SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar. The panel has asked incumbent SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar to probe the allegations and submit a report in two months.

The order to probe the deal was passed on a complaint by Amritsar-based petitioner Baldev Singh Sirsa. Badungar had replaced Makkar as SGPC chief, and both are reportedly not on good terms. The Commission also issued summon to five SGPC members and five employees, while hearing complaint of and asked them to appear before it on August 19.

Those summoned include SGPC members Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Raghujit Singh Virk, Kewal Singh Badal, Rajinder Singh Mehta and Nirmal Singh Jallankalan, along with SGPC employees — former manager of the Takht Damdma Sahib Sukhwinder Singh, former assistant manager Harjinder Singh Bhatti, revenue officer Major Singh, Ram Singh and Karamjit Singh. The order restricts the five summoned SGPC employees from performing any duty related to their job profile till next orders.

Sirsa had approached the Commission on August 4 with his complaint after SGPC didn’t reply to legal notice sent by Sirsa to explain the controversial deal. The Commission passed its orders on August 5.

According to Sirsa, then Takht Sri Keshgarh Assistant Manager Harjinder Singh Bhatti’s relatives Darshan Singh, Manpreet Singh, Balwinder Kaur and SGPC employee Karamjit Singh purchased 3938 square feet of land at Rs 70 Lakh on June 26, 2013.

The plot was opposite Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib. The SGPC executive committee headed by then President Avtar Singh Makkar passed a resolution to form a sub-committee to buy this land on December 16, 2013. Five SGPC members summoned by Commission were part of sub-committee. Following this resolution, land was sold to Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib at Rs 2.7 crore on April 4, 2014.

“At that time market rate of the purchased land was not more than Rs 50 lakh, but sub-committee cleared the deal for Rs 2.7 crore. It is clear that then SGPC leadership was involved in it,” alleged Sirsa.

The sub-committee also failed to notice alleged conflict of interest in this deal, he said.

For the probe now, SGPC chief Badungar has been asked to set up a fact-finding Committee and submit the report in sealed envelope.

The judicial commission has warned of lodging an FIR with SSP Ropar in case the fact finding committee fails to meet the deadline.

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