VANCOUVER’S Khalsa Diwan Society of Ross Street Gurdwara has been ordered by the court to remain in power until March 1. So the new executive that Gurdwara President Sohan Singh Deo announced last October has to wait until the court can decide on objections by the Sikh Sangat Seva Society that is alleging an unfair membership process.
Deo had in a press release announced that as “only one slate of candidates” was nominated by the October 8 deadline, Kuldip S. Thandi and his slate were elected unopposed to the executive committee for 2015-2017. The press release stated: “This is the first time since 1989 that these elections were held by acclamation.”
However, the Sikh Sangat Seva Society in a statement on October 9 said: “We are still in litigation and nothing has been worked out or resolved. Lawyers are communicating and they have been served that no election can take place until everything is resolved.”
The Sikh Sangat Seva Society said in a press release this week that they had requested the court that the old committee remain in power until the case is heard. “KDS lawyer challenged that this was not possible as some of the current members do not want to remain in power and also the bank could cause problems for the society for the loan, therefore the new committee must take power. The judge questioned in disbelief what problems the bank could cause and, seeing the overwhelming evidence, ordered the current executive to stay in power until March 1. The case is to be heard at the end of February 2015,” the press release stated.
Deo confirmed to The VOICE on Thursday that the court had ordered them to remain in power.
The Sikh Sangat Seva Society mentioned a raft of allegations against the current executive in their press statement, including irregularities in the enrolment process, faulty memberships, forgery, dumping of memberships, and appointing a third party for the enrolment process just two months before the deadline.
The Sikh Sangat Seva Society said that the executive from Khalsa Diwan Society Vancouver went to court on December 8 asking for the adjournment of its petition. “They wanted to have their “new” committee take power and instead of the one-day hearing next week they wanted to have a week-long trial in the New Year. This option would have let their group keep their power and if they lost the case, they could appeal it while keeping control of the gurdwara. The full trial and then the appeal could have taken well over a year or more,” it said in its press statement.
“The expensive court battle could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars which is no problem for them as they are using the gurdwara donations for the legal expenses while Sikh Sangat is paying from their own pockets,” it alleged.
The press statement said: “Sikh Sangat wants the fraudulent membership to be cancelled. In addition, we challenge everyone on this executive to pay for their court costs and not use the gurdwara donations.”