The campaign for the return of the Sikh religeous artefacts and our battle for juscice with KPMG
CAMPAIGN FOR THE RETURN OF THE SIKH RELIGIOUS ARTEFACTS
The Bhabra family were successful and well known business entrepreneurs in their own right in Engineering and the mainstream Broadcasting industry for over 45 years. They strongly believe there has been a significant miscarriage of justice, cover-up and gross negligence surrounding the whereabouts of their precious, irreplaceable and priceless Artefacts.
The claim is for the return of Sikh Religious Artefacts: a substantial Palki and two Holy Scriptures, a Guru Granth Sahib Ji and a 18th century hand written scripture, all of which disappeared in April 2004. The Religious Artefacts were located at the premises specifically for the recording and live transmission of daily Gurbani.
KPMG were instructed by Hardial Bhabra’s son Panminder in January 2004 to protect the company from a rogue creditor. KPMG were instructed to act in the Bhabra’s best interest to safeguard their trading businesses and family assets. However, the Bhabras strenuously alleged in court that the Joint Administrators appointed by KPMG, in collusion with the property lenders, betrayed the professional trust, privilege and confidentially expected between professional adviser and their clients, the Bhabras. The family have also alleged in court that the administrators wrongfully wound up a business making £400,000 per year and sold off a £10 million property for £8 million plus £14 million of other assets for £172,000.
The Bhabras pointed out that the family’s companies were solvent at the time, and were growing in success and reputation. Their future was looking healthy and they had secured refinancing to remove the rogue/unscrupulous property lenders. It should also be remembered that the combined asset value far exceeded the short term loan value.
The family and their employees were locked out at midnight on the 29th April 2004, without warning or consultation and more importantly without having any opportunity to safely remove personal property and assets which included the Religious Artefacts. The Bhabras said in court that company was unnecessarily forced into insolvency by the appointed partner of KPMG in September 2004.
Collectively KPMG and another administrator took collaborative occupation of the family’s business premises and assets therein from April 2004 to September 2005. The Bhabras insist that they were constantly denied access to remove personal and third party assets from the premises, by way of intimidating threats of aggression by KPMG staff and their site security, and were told in no uncertain terms that any attempt to gain access would result in police intervention.
KPMG’s administrator (a partner of the firm) was in substantial control of the contents of the building until September 2005 by which time they had provided vacant possession to the property lenders. During that period Hardial Bhabra had made many representations to the respective partners at KPMG to be allowed to recover the sacred Artefacts, but was ignored and disregarded.
In a case in 2013, Judge Newey found that the Palki and Holy scriptures that were within the premises, were not business assets and were rightfully the property of Hardial Bhabra and yet KPMG can give no explanation as to their fate or whereabouts. The accountants, whose job it is to identify and locate every asset in the companies it assesses, have failed in a profound professional and moral sense to carry out their duties. One of the most worrying aspects of this case is not that mistakes happened, but that such strenuous efforts have been made to cover up these mistakes – by refusing to onduct any proper enquiry or even to meet the Bhabras in relation to the sacred artefects - and to bully the Bhabras into abandoning their claim for recovery or compensation.
It is possible that the Artefacts were stolen. More worryingly, it is likely that KPMG sub-contracted the clearance of the premises to contractors who simply destroyed the Artefacts. Either way, the disrespect to the Sikh religion is profound and cannot be overlooked or ignored.
The desecration of these precious, irreplaceable and priceless Artefacts is simply a disgraceful act and we are therefore turning to the entire Sikh community and implore you all to support our campaign to force KPMG to end this outrageous disregard of our religion.
The Sikh community is one of the most long-standing ethnic communities in the United Kingdom. We have served our nation with loyalty and passion, in peace and in war. We have asked for very little in return. But the time has come to demand recognition and justice for Sikhs, and to make sure that the UK government, and British multi-nationals like KPMG, will never again treat our sacred religious treasures with such casual contempt.
Illustrations kindly provided by Amandeep Singh at Inkquisitive.com