The dismissed Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones of the guru) will not approach the high court or any other judicial court against their dismissal from the services of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
“The Panj Pyaras will not seek their reinstatement through the courts, as they were not just mere employees of the SGPC prior to their dismissal. The Panj Pyara concept is like an institution which was introduced by Guru Gobind Singh, hence like the jathedars of the Takhts, they cannot be considered as employees of the SGPC,” said Jaswinder Singh Advocate, a SGPC member and patron of a Sikh youth religious group — Akal Purkh ki Fauj.
The decision against seeking legal remedies was taken at a meeting of a couple of Sikh religious and social groups held at the Singh Sabha gurdwara in Hussainpura locality of the city on Sunday.
Prominent among those who took part in the meeting included former Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vidanti, former Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Kewal Singh and a number of others, including some SGPC members and members of the ‘Panthic Talmel Sangthan’ of Giani Kewal Singh.
The Panj Pyaras — Bhai Satnam Singh Khanda, Bhai Satnam Singh, Bhai Tirlok Singh, Bhai Mangal Singh and Bhai Major Singh were also present. Barring Bhai Major Singh who retired from the services of the SGPC on December 31, the remaining four were dismissed by the SGPC executive on January 1 on the charges of ‘exceeding their limits and questioning the authority of the Akal Takht’.
After their dismissal, speculation was rife that the four who were dismissed from service would move the Punjab and Haryana high court challenging the decision of the SGPC executive.
However, in Sunday’s meeting, a clear consensus emerged that it would not be inappropriate for Panj Pyaras to move court.
Accepting the advice offered at the meeting, Bhai Satnam Singh Khanda too agreed that approaching the courts would amount to lowering the dignity of the Panj Pyaras.
“We will seek justice in the court of the Sikh sangat and not through the judicial process,” Khanda added.
The leading speakers at the meeting, including Vidanti and Giani Kewal Singh justified the decisions taken by the Panj Pyaras including their call to the quam (Sikh community) to socially boycott Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Takht Keshgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Mal Singh and Takht Damdama Sahib acting Jathedar Giani Gurmukh Singh. The social boycott decision was taken as the SGPC executive failed to carry out their orders of removing the three jathedars for their role in exonerating Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a blasphemy case.
The meeting also took a decision of honor the Panj Pyaras at a function later this month. Later Vidanti performed prayer at the Akal Takht for restoring the honour of the Panj Pyaras, who, he claimed, had performed their duties towards safeguarding Sikh tenets with utmost dedication and sincerity.