Former Sikh Center of Pacific Coast Selma president files defamation suit

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Sep 17, 2018

FRESNO – A Selma resident alleges he was removed from the position of president of a religious organization and defamed by false statements.

Pavitarjit Sihota filed a complaint on Aug. 1 in the Fresno County Superior Court against Sukhpal Singh Dhaliwal; Jarnail Singh Uppal; Charanjit Singh Sihota, et al. alleging defamation, assault, battery and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff was acting president of the Sikh Center of Pacific Coast Selma and is one of the temple's founding members. He became president after an agreement of the directors and trustees in January 2017.

He alleges he discovered some of the defendants misappropriated funds from the temple and when he announced it on March 11 between worship services, the defendants physically forced him off of the podium. He alleges the defendants filed a false police report with the Selma Police Department alleging the plaintiff engaged in theft.

The suit also states that he was removed as president and board member without a board resolution or meeting.

The plaintiff holds defendants responsible for allegedly falsely accusing him of theft, pushing his shoulders and chest to force him off of the podium and causing him to suffer emotional distress.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment for general and special damages, exemplary and punitive damages an amount appropriate to punish defendants and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct. He is represented by Douglas M. Larsen and Caleb Y. Lee of Fishman Larsen & Callister in Fresno.

Fresno County Superior Court case number 18CECG02846

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Fishman Larsen & Callister Fresno County Superior Court

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