BY-LAWS OF GURDWARA SAHIB, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, FREMONT, CALIFORNIA
300 GURDWARA RD., FREMONT CALIFORNIA 94536
To preach and practice fundamentals of Sikh religion.
To improve the moral, social and historical consciousness of the Sikh community.
To increase religious and social consciousness among the younger generation of Sikh through education preaching and sports.
To promote feelings of brotherhood with international Sikh community.
To strengthen the bonds of brotherhood (Bhai Chara) among the Sikh Sangat.
SELECTION PROCEDURE OF PANJ PYARAS (SUPREME COUNCIL)
The principles and practices ofthe Gurdwara Management will be those espoused by Sikh faith and Gurmat tradition. The institution of Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones) will be revived in order to provide the guidelines for day-to day functions of the Gurdwara. The Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones) will be selected and appointed by Sadh Sangat or membership of the Gurdwara Sahib. If any of the Panj Pyaras is found unfit for his position, another Panj Pyara shall be selected by the General Body to fill up the vacancy. In the meantime, the Head Priest of the Gurdwara Sahib shall perform the duties of a Panj Pyara.
ARTICLE IIA **
SUPREME COUNCIL ELECTION AND TERM
The term of office for a Supreme Council Member shall be two years. The election of the Supreme Council shall take place on the second Sunday of March of the year that the term of the Supreme Council expires. No member of the Supreme Council shall serve more than a total of 4 years in an 8 year period. The election shall be conducted by written secret ballot under conditions that assure fairness.
The Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones) are required to have the following qualifications:
Panj Pyaras must be Amritdhari (baptised) Sikhs.
Panj Pyaras must believe and practice Rehat Maryada as outlined in Rehatnamas.
A Panj Pyara must be a nitnemi and should understand the meaning and importance of Gurbani and Guru Granth Sahib.
Panj Pyaras must give a written commitment for the propagation of Sikh cause.
He must take an oath in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, that his conduct in Gurdwara affairs will be guided only by Gurshabad, Gur Maryada and Ardas.
A Panj Pyara should be well versed in Gurmukhi language.
He should have demonstrated experience of Sewa and Parupkar.
He could be trusted by his fellow Panj Pyaras.
DISMISSAL OF A MEMBER OF SUPREME COUNCIL
A Supreme Council member can be dismissed on the following grounds:
For breaking the Sikh code of conduct, as prescribed in Rehatnamas.
For breaking the Sikh rule of objectivity by indulging in petty politics of factionalism and name-calling.
Inability of a member in getting along with the Supreme Council.
The final Hukam (order) of the Supreme Council regarding the dismissal is final.
Bhai Sahib (Sikh Head Priest) of Gurdwara shall act as a Panj Pyara for the purpose of dismissing a member of the Supreme Council. Dismissal of a Supreme Council member must be based on written evidence. A Panj Pyara must be given a week’s written notice to answer the allegations given in the notice of hearing as prepared by the Supreme Council.
THE PARBANDHAK (EXECUTIVE) COMMITTEE
The Parbandhak Committee shall consist of eleven members. The Supreme Council will ask for the names of Sewadars from the Sadh Sangat every now and then depending upon the availability of vacancy on the Parbandhak Committee. The Supreme Council will ask the Sadh Sangat for nominations. The term of the Parbandhak Committee shall be for a period of two years. A Parbandhak can stay on the Executive Committee for a maximum period of four years.
The Parbandhak Committee shall consist of the following Sewadars (officers):
The other five members shall assist these Sewadars. At the time of annual General Body meeting or on the occasion of weekly dewans, the Parbandhak Committee can propose the formation of sub-committees. These subcommittees will be constituted so as to meet the specific needs of Sikh Sangat and the Gurdwara Sahib. The construction of the Gurdwara Sahib buildings, educational and recreational needs of the Sikh youth are examples of some of these needs. At least one member of the Parbandhak Committee will act as a liaison person on these committees.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A PARBANDHAK
Any member of the Sikh Sangat, who wishes to serve on the Executive Committee, must meet the following selection criteria:
He should be an Amritdhari Sikh.
He should follow the Rehat Maryada as enunciated by the Rehatnamas.
He should be a Nitnemi.
He should be well versed in the teachings of the Ten Gurus. He should be able to perform all the religious ceremonies held in the Gurdwara Sahib.
He should be willing to accept the proper reprimand/Hukam of Panj Pyaras, whenever his integrity is held in doubt.
He should be a member of Gurdwara Sahib for at least twelve months at the time of his nomination.
NON-AVAILABILITY OF AMRITDHARI SIKHS
GOD forbid, in case an Amritdhari Sikh is not available in the Sadh Sangat, nominations on the Executive Committee could be thrown open to Keshadhari/Sehajdhari Sikhs. A Non-Amritdhari Sikh is supposed to know and perform all the religious functions and ceremonies as practiced according to Sikh Rehat Maryada.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE VACANCY
The position of a Parbandhak must be considered vacant if:
The Parbandhak submits his resignation in writing.
The Parbandhak is absent from three executive committee meetings without written notice.
A Parbandhak is fired by the Supreme Council on the written recommendation of the 2/3 majority of the Executive Committee.
DECISION MAKING PROCESS
Every effort should be made by the Executive Committee to reach a decision, unanimously. However, in case the members are not unanimous on as particular issue, the majority vote will prevail. The Parbandhak Committee and the Supreme Council of Panj Pyaras should make every effort to involve Sikh Sangat in decision-making process.
The priests, educators, doctors, engineers, and other professionals should be requested to participate in this constructive process. The professionals in the Sikh community should be
encouraged to participate in the formation of sub-committees. Sikh Sangat on the whole should be encouraged to participate in the Kar Sewa programs of the Gurdwara Sahib.
There will be only one class of membership. There is no membership fee.
Definition of a Sadh Sangat member:
Membership of the Gurdwara Sahib is open to a person who is resident of these counties:
Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Solano.
Is 18 years of age or over.
Believes in Sikhism, teachings of ten Gurus, Rehatnamas, accepts Guru Granth Sahib as aliving Guru.
Pledges to abide by the constitution of the Gurdwara Sahib.
The General Body/Sadh Sangat should consist of all those persons who attend the Gurdwara Sahib regularly. The quorum of the General Body meetings shall be 1/5 of the total membership of the Gurdwara Sahib. In the absence of the quorum, the meeting shall be adjourned and reconvened in two weeks and the quorum shall be reduced to 1/10 of the total membership.
The Annual General Body meeting shall be held on the second Sunday in April to conduct the following business:
Progress report of the Gurdwara Sahib shall be read by the Chairman or the General Secretary.
Financial statement presented by the Treasurer/Asstt. Treasurer as of December 31st, duly audited with the Auditor’s report.
Any additional item to be discussed in the annual General Body meeting must be submitted to the Executive Committee in writing, at least one week before the actual date of the meeting.
The Parbandhak Committee will call other General Body meetings of the Sadh Sangat besides the Annual General Body meeting, with a purpose to discuss issues of General importance to the Sikh community.
A member/members of the Sadh Sangat can also request a general body meeting, by presenting a petition to the Supreme Council. The petition should represent at least 1/5th of the Sadh Sangat.
All the General Body meetings should be presided by Chairman of the Executive Committee and in his absence by the Secretary of the Executive Committee and in his absence by another member of the Executive Committee deputed by the Chairman of the Executive Committee.
POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Parbandhak Committee shall perform all the function of the Gurdwara Sahib in accordance with the constitution and shall consult the Supreme Council in all important financial and policy matters.
The Executive Committee is empowered to accept contributions, gifts, estates, real-estates, donations, grants and aids etc.
The Executive Committee is authorized to give donations, grants etc. to other Sikh Organizations, who are working for the uplift of Sikhs in the areas of social, communal and other matters involving Sikh cause.
The Executive Committee is authorized to appoint priests, preachers, accountants, according to the needs of the Gurdwara Sahib and the Sikh Sangat.
In matters related to the Gurmat and Sikh Rehat Maryada, The Granthi/Priest of the Gurdwara Sahib should be the chief consultant. In matter of doubt, the opinion can be solicited from other Gursikhs, Gyanis and Saints. Sri Akal Takhat is the final authority on all religious matters.
Any member of the Sadh Sangat who indulges in unruly behavior in the weekly diwans or General Body meetings should be asked to leave. Any member of the Sadh Sangat who indulges in name calling, violent behavior etc. can be disciplined by seeking help from law enforcement agencies.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PANJ PYARAS
The Supreme Council should meet at least once a month. Quorum of the meeting consists of five members.
The Supreme Council should select a coordinator among them, who could call meetings, record the minutes of these meetings and act as a liaison with Executive Committee. The Supreme Council meetings should be presided by Panj Pyaras on rotation basis.
The subject of the meetings should be circulated among the members of the council before the
scheduled date of the meeting.
DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee should meet at least once a month. The agenda of the meeting should be circulated in advance among the Parbandhaks. Seven members constitute a valid quorum for Executive Committee meetings.
Chairman shall preside over all the Executive Committee meetings and play a greater role as the coordinator of the management team.
Vice Chairman shall assist the Chairman in all the managerial functions and shall assume charge of the duties of the Chairman in later’s absence.
General Secretary is responsible for the maintenance of all records, documents, registers and other official papers of the Gurdwara Sahib. He shall keep the records of the proceedings of the Executive Committee and General Body meetings. He shall prepare the agenda of the meeting and prepare reports in consultation with the Chairman. He also acts as a master of ceremonies on all religious gatherings. Assistant Secretary shall assist the Secretary in performing all the duties granted to the Secretary.
Treasurer shall collect dues, keep accounts of all the receipts and expenses, deposit all funds in the bank. He shall also sign checks of payment along with the Chairman or General Secretary as authorized by the Executive Committee. The payments could consist of payment of salaries to the Gurdwara Sahib employees and donation payable to the Sikh Organizations. He should also prepare the budget estimates for the Executive Committee.
Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer in performing ali the duties granted to the Treasurer by the Gurdwara Sahib He shall inform the Sadh Sangat from time to time regarding the status of Gurdwara Sahib income and expenses.
BUDGET AND FINANCE
The bank accounts shall be opened by the Treasurer, Chairman and the Assistant Chairman. Any two must sign the checks.
The financial year of the Gurdwara Sahib shall be from ‘January 1 to December 31.
The records and registers of the Gurdwara Sahib shall be brought up to date at least 4 weeks before the annual general meeting. The accounts shall be open for the public examination at least for 4 weeks during the month of March.
Annual budget estimates shall be prepared by the Treasurer as discussed and arrived at by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall appoint an Auditor(s) for scrutinising the Gurdwara Sahib accounts. The auditor shall submit audit report at least once a year. The auditor will be a non-executive committee person.
The amendments to the constitution must be first presented to the Supreme Council of Panj Pyaras in the form of a petition, identifying major gaps or shortcomings according to Sikh
tradition (Rehat Maryada). The Panj Pyaras should examine the petition carefuiiy and submit their recommendations to the General Body of Gurdwara membership. The majority of the
Sikh membership in General Body can endorse the amendment and the Constitution can be changed accordingly.
Any Sadh Sangat member who is dissatisfied with a particular decision or program of the Executive Committee can file a petition for hearing with the Supreme Council
** By-Laws amended and approved by Sangat on 1/8/2006 to add Article IIA