Will there be another costly legal fight at Vancouver’s Ross Street Gurdwara?


 Ross Temple side view

THE Sikh Sangat Seva Society of BC, a united group of several opposition parties that have come together to challenge the current executive at the Khalsa Diwan Society Vancouver of Ross Street Gurdwara, on Friday claimed that they were once again being denied access to membership forms and the current membership list.

In a press statement, the group said that that they had been sending letters to the gurdwara committee since January 2012 in connection with enrollment and elections issues.

The society said a meeting was held last month after lawyer’s letters to avoid any legal fights, but the gurdwara committee allegedly refused to cooperate and the society informed the public about this situation on a Punjabi radio.

The society listed the following grievances:

“* Requested numbers of blank membership forms denied.  They said that they did not have those numbers.  We offered to pay for the forms and get them printed, they refused.  We spotted boxes full of form in their office, when it was opened there were at least 2000 forms.  They were misleading.

“* Denied access to financial records dating back to 2010, they said to file a request with Revenue Canada

“* Denied access to current membership list, we have no idea what the number of members is.

“* Denied equal representation during the enrollment process

“* Absence of a transparent process

“* Requested to have the membership registration available online and even offered to pay for and help with monitor. They refused.

“* Enrollment times inconvenient as people work from the times of 11a.m.-3 p.m.  This should be an evening time so people can go after work and submit their forms.

“* Forms being dropped off and picked up from people’s homes while our supporters have limited time for submission and must do so in person at the gurdwara.”

A spokesperson said: “We ask that the same process that was implemented three years ago be in place now and we can avoid all the litigation.  The litigation will only result in the same judgment as before so why do we all have to waste time and money?  We are spending money from our own pockets while the executive has the hard-earned donations of the Sangat at their disposal.  Those donations were not for avoidable legal costs.  We believe it’s time for them to do the right things.

“Implement fully the results from three years ago and the election to be held under the control of a neutral third party.  There will be an election this year.  Let’s do it fairly and stop wasting money for the stupidity of politics.”