H S Bawa
Jalandhar, June 15-
A Controversial Baba, who allegedely collected huge sums of money in the name of religion and managed to established a big Gurudwara at Illinois in the US under the name Guru Nanak Sikh Mission Inc., has been found guilty of contempt of Court because he transferred the property of the Mission even as the US law didn't permit him to do so and despite Court orders not to do so. He now faces jail sentence in US.
Judge Joseph P.Condon of Circuit Court of the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, McHenry County, Illinois, in his order dated June, 8, 2012 said ‘’The court has found Baba Daljit Singh to be in contempt of court for wasting the corporation's assets in defiance of Judge Meyer's order. The court will conduct a sentencing hearing. Counsel for plaintiff and counsel for Baba be prepared to argue whether a purge is available and, ought to be. If no purge is available, the proper punishment is the only issue. Baba Daljit Singh will have the opportunity to speak at the sentencing hearing.””
Baba Daljit Singh Chicago who has been convicted by a Court in Illinois, US shall hear the quantum of sentence to be served by him on 29th of June but only if he chooses to be present in the Court, this time.
The Baba mired in controversies is at present in India and has not presented himself on various Court hearings. The case had been filed by one Harminder Singh Khaira on May 19, 2010. Khaira is a director in the Mission.
The US Court was to pronounce sentence on Baba Daljit Singh Chicago for his illegal acts and contempt of Court on 8th of June, the last hearing of the case but his lawyer told the Court that the Baba has flown to India as his father was not keeping well.
Baba, who floated Guru Nanak Sikh Mission America Inc., and collected donations in the name of religion for the property situated at 217, W.State Road, Island Lake, Illinois allegedly got transferred the entire property of the mission in his name on 14th of October, 2011 while there was a court order barring him to do so. Compounding his blunder he later transferred the same property in the name of one Harpreet Singh Saini.
It has been claimed that various documents provided by Baba to Harminder Singh Khaira, the plaintiff, were found to be inaccurate, incomplete, deceptive and fraudulent by the Court. However, the Court in its orders also said that some documents provided by the plaintiff were also frauds.
Baba and Jaspal Kaur Randhawa by a warranty deed transferred the property on January 9, 1998 and converted the same into a Gurudwara. The Court has observed that thereafter ‘the congregation began worshiping at this location. The congregation continued to do so until December 2011 when the mission building was ordered closed by the village of Island Lake, Illinois as a matter of public safety.’
The Court noted that Harminder Singh Khaira began worshipping at the Mission in 1999 and became a Director in 2003. The Court also mentions that Khaira was never elected and even went on to say that Khaira was appointed to the Board by Baba Daljit Singh who himself was never elected.
The Court observed that Guru Nanak Sikh Mission of America did not keep correct and complete books, records of accounts, and minutes of meetings. The Mission had no membership records or elected directors. Baba Daljit Singh himself was never elected to be a director either.
The by-laws of the Mission also did not explain how directors were to be elected and the expiration of their terms. Election of directors is required by law but Baba said that the Directors were selected and not elected. This is said to be against Illinois law.
It was also noted that Guru Nanak Sikh Mission had not complied with any provision of the General Not for Profit Corporation Act of 1986.
Khaira had asked the court that the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission of America not be dissolved, but the Court instead appointed a custodian whose duties would be to fix the corporation. The Judge said that this cannot be done because the corporation no longer has a temple at which services are held and the corporation has no records of anything with which the custodian would have a basis for fixing things at the Mission.
The Court found each count in favor of the Plaintiff Harminder Singh Khaira and said that Baba Daljit Singh was acting in an oppressive and fraudulent manner. The assets of the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission are being misapplied and wasted.
Judge Condon found Baba Daljit Singh in contempt of court as Judge Meyers orders stated that “the parties are not to encumber or dissipate the assets of the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission of America.”
Going through the entire episode the Court noted that ‘’The Village of Island Lake, Illinois closed the temple in December 2011 for reasons of public safety. The corporation was unable to afford the necessary repairs. Thereafter the corporation attempted to convey the real estate to Baba Daljit Singh and Jaspal Kaur Randhawa by warranty deed dated October 14, 2011. Baba Daljit Singh and Jaspal Kaur Randhawa then attempted to convey the real estate to Harpreet S. Saini, a creditor of the corporation, by quitclaim deed dated December 16, 2011”.
Baba Daljit Singh transferred the property of the Mission to his name on October 14, 2011. This was done wrongfully and illegally and was against the orders of Judge Meyer. He then transferred the property to Harpreet Saini on December 16th 2011 and this was also done illegally and against the orders of Judge Meyer.
Baba Daljit Singh did not appear in Court on June 8th, the last date of hearing. His lawyer stated that his Father fell ill on the night of 7th of June, so the Baba went to India. Khaira described it as a strange coincidence that Baba’s father became sick the night before the decision was supposed to be announced in the case.
The Court will conduct a sentencing hearing on June 29th in the matter of Baba Daljit Singh committing contempt of court.