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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Sarna denies DSGMC's charges of corruption

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, August 26, 2013
First Published: 18:41 IST(26/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:11 IST(26/8/2013)

Former Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Paramjit Singh Sarna has claimed that the allegations of corruption that the leaders of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have levelled against him are frivolous and baseless.

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The allegations relate to the sale of land that Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had allotted to the committee for the construction of Guru Harkrishan Hospital, Bala Sahib. The SAD has also accused him of not respecting the orders of the Akal Takht, supreme temporal authority of Sikhs.

In a statement sent on email to the local media, Sarna said the SAD, in the last general elections of the DSGMC, "had amplified these baseless allegations before Sikh Sangat" and now after winning, it was "spending the 'golak' money (donations at shrines) on personal enjoyment and for political purposes".

Sarna, who is also president of the SAD (Delhi), said the current DSGMC had misused the gurdwara money in the name of flood rescue and relief in Uttarakhand, and its new president, Manjit Singh GK, and other office-bearers had, in the first six months of office, taken a tour of Europe and a luxury sea cruise from Italy to Paris.

After taking charge of the committee, the new DSGMC team had bought eight new Toyota Innova cars for personal and family use, said Sarna. "Manjit Singh GK paid Rs. 14 lakh to the contractor for pitching tents and making other arrangements at Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tila on Baisakhi, while last year, the expenditure was only Rs. 1.80 lakh," he added.

He demanded an inquiry into the recent purchase of air-conditioners worth Rs. 86 lakh for the DSGMC-run Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology at Delhi's Rajouri Garden. "The documents that the SAD has circulated do not prove that I ever sold or transferred the land of Guru Harkrishan Hospital, Bala Sahib. Law does not permit the sale of the DDA-allotted land to an institution, and even no company or individual businessman would agree to purchase a building on leased land allotted to an institution," Sarna added.

For the construction and running of the gigantic hospital, crores of rupees are required, and that amount cannot be arranged from gurdwara funds, Sarna said to justify why he had entered collaboration with a hospital management company. "The deal would have not only earned the DSGMC crores of rupees each year that could be spent on medical and educational projects but also maintained its status as owner of the land and the building," he added.

The hospital would have been complete and functioning but now the company had decided to withdraw because of the false cases that GK and other office-bearers had filed against it, Sarna further said, rubbishing the allegation that he ever disrespected the Akal Takht. He said he had appeared before the Takht whenever asked and even accepted "Tankha" (religious punishment), while chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was "quite well known for defying the Takht's edicts".

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