By Ashok Kumar
Sydney 9 Feb. 17
Emboldened by the GOPIO International leaders’ willful inaction over the issues raised by The Indian Sub-continent Times late December (http://www.theistimes.com/gopio-sydneys-sham-agm-and-cover-up-by-gopio-leaders/)
about the illegality of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) convened by the GOPIO, Sydney, it has shamelessly stuck to the same Executive Council (EC) that was elected by violating its own constitution.
A series of communication with senior leaders resulted in a nought followed by a cover up operation in the form of another AGM instead of sacking all the members who were elected by violating the constitution, a constitution that should have been sacrosanct to any governing body but turned out to be much maligned one.
The International body’s constitution clearly says those who violate rules or bring the brand GOPIO to disrepute shall be impeached. They have done so on previous occasions but not this time. Are there any special favours?
Why and how the GOPIO leaders could have sacked the errant leaders is as per Constitution of GOPIO International, available on their website, vide page 10 and article 15 under heading IMPEACHMENT: The officials of the GOPIO can be impeached by the International Council for misdemeanour and for gross and wilful violation of GOPIO constitution. Impeachment proceedings can be initiated by the Executive Council or at least five members of the International Council The office-bearer concerned will be provided a written statement of the charges against him/her and given thirty days to reply to the charges. The impeachment charges and replies from the person charged will be circulated to all members of the International Council at least 30 days before the meeting of the International Council at which they are to be discussed. Impeachment decision can be made only with the three/fourth (3/4) majority of the International Council present and voting in a meeting with prior notice concerning this agenda item.
As pointed out in the previous report of December
24th 2016, GOPIO Sydney flouted its own Constitution at the 31 January, 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) by not meeting the quorum requirements and allowing proxy votes to elect EC and its president Mr. Balvinder Ruby.
After several communications, it emerged that the only person who could do intervene was GOPIO International Vice President Mr. Noel Lal who not only failed to sack the errant officials as per the Global body’s constitution but ‘sanctioned’ a cover up meeting in November last year to re-elect the same tainted EC. This has brought disrepute to the brand GOPIO for willfully not following its own constitution.
The fresh election in November notwithstanding, these leaders would remain tainted and this raises a serious question over their attempt to project and present themselves as community leaders and holding any events like GYAAN, accepting sponsorship and spending that money. Many past GOPIO Sydney members, on the condition of anonymity contended that any awards by a tainted GOPIO Sydney EC will be tainted too.
Among the leaders contacted before the publication of report in December was Mr. Harmohan Walia, who had served several bodies and been the head of Sydney North West GOPIO as also been involved in framing the constitutions of different chapters, feigned ignorance about the tainted 31 January 2016 AGM. Mr. Walia was appointed Returning Officer for the November AGM to elect the tainted leaders again thereby legitimising the ‘crime’.
Needless to say the awards thus distributed will also be deemed tainted.
It is incumbent upon GOPIO International leadership to follow the Constitution and expel the tainted EC and constitute a new EC with new members.
The Indian Australian Community remains concerned over the kind of leadership it will have to endure.