Efforts by anti-Ashram elements to scuttle inquiry fails!
As the D-day for the inquiry into the irregularities alleged by Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and other anti-Ashram elements has been approaching, it turns out that behind the scenes, these trouble-makers have in reality been busy trying to scuttle the inquiry that is to be conducted by a retired judge, as it evidently doesn’t suit them anymore.
These anti-Ashram elements had wanted the Puducherry Government Collector to conduct the inquiry, because the Collector, being a public servant of the local Government, could be ‘influenced’ by some of the power-wielding, local politicians who are known to bully and intimidate bureaucrats to get them to do what they want. The Madras High Court’s order striking down the Collector’s inquiry had served a big blow to the anti-Ashram elements who had pinned their hopes on political influence rather than on judicial process.
[It is important to remind our readers that the manner in which the Puducherry Collector initiated his ‘inquiry’ unilaterally and with a ‘predetermined mind’, basing himself on unsubstantiated allegations, without following a due process, just because he was approached by a local MLA, Ashok Anand who was accompanied by anti-Ashram elements, was to begin with highly suspect. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust had done well to challenge the Collector’s arbitrary inquiry which the courts eventually halted.]
Despite Sridharan’s bravado and posturing on the CHOLA-TLOSA website, while proclaiming that “a retired Judge will be more effective than the Collector to take the Ashram Trust to task if he finds anything hanky panky with it,” the truth has now emerged that the retired judge’s inquiry didn’t really suit these anti-Ashram elements.
Following the Madras High Court’s order and appointment of PR Raman, former judge of the Kerala HC, as inquiry officer, these anti-Ashram elements, who in court pretended to agree with this order, have instead been trying hard to scuttle such an inquiry by filing an appeal against the Madras High Court’s order appointing the retired judge as the inquiry officer. If Sridharan and his other anti-Ashram elements were so content with with the appointment of the inquiry officer, why are his colleagues instead trying to put spokes in the wheel of the judicial inquiry that is about to begin?
As all the initiatives to promote falsehood that are instigated by these anti-Ashram elements are doomed to fail, their latest efforts to scuttle the inquiry have also failed.
This is reported below:
Press Trust of India | Chennai September 25, 2013
Madras High Court today dismissed an appeal against a single judge’s order appointing a retired judge of Kerala High Court as the inquiry officer to probe allegations against Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust in Puducherry.
Dismissing the appeal filed by Dayanidi Patel and two others, the First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, said the “interim order passed by Justice KK Sasidharan would disclose that the interest of all parties has been taken into consideration by the single judge, who has passed a detailed order by issuing certain directions.”
Originally, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust in Puducherry had filed a petition challenging the order for initiating an inquiry into the allegations made by some of its inmates including Ashok Anand and Vishnu Lalit.
It had also challenged the notice dated October 1, 2012, inviting the interested inmates and others to approach the Deputy Collector (Revenue) in connection with the inquiry.
Taking note of the fact that the Ashram was not against the inquiry, but only against the Collector conducting the probe “with a predetermined mind”, Justice Sasidharan, with the consent of both sides, appointed Justice PR Raman, a retired Judge of Kerala High Court, as the Inquiry Officer.
The bench dismissed the appeal against the appointment of Justice Raman, stating that there was no merit in it.
CHENNAI, September 25, 2013
The Madras High Court has upheld a single judge’s interim order appointing Justice P.R. Raman, a former judge of the Kerala High Court, to enquire into allegations of sexual harassment of women and children in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry.
In its judgment on an appeal, the First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, said a perusal of the interim order of August 13 would show that the interest of all the parties had been taken into consideration by the single judge (Justice K.K.Sasidharan), who passed a detailed order by issuing certain directions.
Originally, the writ petition was filed by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust challenging an order initiating enquiry into the charges made by some of the ashramites and the consequential notice of October 1 last year inviting interested members of the ashram and others to approach the Deputy Collector (Revenue) in connection with the enquiry.
The judge took note of the fact that the ashram was not against holding an enquiry regarding the complaints by inmates and the local legislator, and the primary objection was only against the Collector holding the enquiry into the matter with a predetermined mind. The judge suggested two names, out of which the parties had agreed for appointing Justice P.R.Raman, a former judge of the Kerala High Court.
The Bench said the primary objection raised by three persons, the appellants, seemed to be that an Administrator should be appointed by dissolving the trust board to ensure that there would be a free and fair enquiry. The single judge had taken note of the submission and found that a scheme notice was pending before the District Court, Puducherry, and therefore rightly rejected the submission.
The judge had also passed certain directions. The prayer sought for by the appellants for taking over the administration by an Administrator, for the present, did not arise for consideration. There was no merit in the writ appeal, the Bench said and dismissed the appeal.
– The Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram –