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The New Indian Express: SC Orders 5 Sisters to Leave Pondy Ashram by July-end

Source: http://m.newindianexpress.com/tamil-nadu/306907

The Supreme Court, while dismissing a Special Leave Petition (SLP), has directed five inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, to vacate its premises by July 31, ending a 12-year row between the sisters and the ashram.

The Supreme Court, while dismissing a Special Leave Petition (SLP), has directed five inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, to vacate its premises by July 31, ending a 12-year row between the sisters and the ashram.

While passing the orders on April 29, a Bench comprising Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopdhaya and Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the sisters to follow the rules and regulations of the ashram  and maintain discipline till their stay in the ashram.

Also, the Bench  stated that in case of non-compliance of the order passed by this court, it would be open to the ashram authorities to  initiate contempt proceedings against the sisters.

Jayashree and her sisters, Arunashri, Rajyashree, Nivedita and Hemlata Prasad were at loggerheads with the ashram management when it took disciplinary action against Hemlata in 2002 on the recommendations of a judicial inquiry by a retired judge who probed misconduct charges against Hemlata and declared her guilty.

The ashram asked the sisters to vacate the premises.

However, the four sisters refused to comply  and brought serious charges against the ashram members including  allegations of sexual harassment against representatives of the ashram and its members and criminal offences.

A complaint was also given by them to the then  National Women’s Commission  chairperson Purnima Advani during her visit to Puducherry.  Both the National Commission for Women and National Human Rights Commission had conducted inquiries and had found their complaints to be false and motivated.

Thereafter, Hemalatha challenged the ashram in the HC in August, 2012, which  directed the sisters to leave the ashram by September 2, 2012. Therafter, the SLP was filed in the apex court by her sister Jayashree Prasad.

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