Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ISKCON Mumbai Vs Bangalore Update

The divisional bench of the Honorable High Court of Karnataka consisting of Hon Justice Nagamohan Das and Hon Justice Boppana reserved its judgment on an application filed by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and others requesting the Honorable court to expunge some of the remarks made in the judgment pertaining to the ISKCON Bangalore and Mumbai litigation.
It may be recalled that on 23rd May 2011, divisional bench consisting of Hon Justice Nagamohan Das and Hon Justice Arali Nagaraj had upheld the appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai. In its verdict it had stated that the suit schedule property of Hare Krishna Hill belonged to ISKCON Mumbai. ISKCON Bangalore aggrieved by this verdict had filed a special leave petition before the Honorable Supreme Court of India, which is hearing the same and verdict is yet to be given. Next hearing of the same has been listed for Aug 22nd 2012.
In the meanwhile an application seeking to expunge some of the remarks made in the Honorable High Court’s verdict, was filed by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa and others, the application was listed for hearing in High Court on 13th July 2012.
Sri Harishankar counsel for Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore, presented the case to the court. Sri Hari Shankar requested that the adverse remarks made in Paragraphs No. 67, 69, 70, 71 and part of paragraph No. 29 Lines 18 to 24, paragraph 32 Lines 5, 6, 7 and para 48 Lines 37 & 38 of the Judgment passed by the Hon’ble Court in RFA No. 421/2009 dated 23.5.2011  be expunged.

In his pleadings Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa argued that in its verdict the Honorable High Court had stated that I have fabricated documents and inserted seal subsequently on some of the documents.
Counsel for Madhu Pandit Dasa explained to the court that the documents submitted were indeed certified copies obtained from the respective offices and that they were not fabricated, the authenticity of which is not disputed. He further added that documents pertaining to the sales tax and telephone numbers do not have the plaintiff societies’ seal as mentioned in the judgment. He argued that as the suit and appeal was between ISKCON Mumbai and Bangalore societies. The Honorable court has not heard from Madhu Pandit Dasa personally about the alleged fabrication and it is against the principles of justice to make adverse remarks without first hearing the person(s) in question, the counsel further added.
Sri Uday Holla former Advocate General of Karnataka and designated senior advocate of the High Court and senior counsel of ISKCON Mumbai argued that the application should be dismissed. He went on to argue at length that indeed fraud was committed by Madhu Pandit Dasa and his associates. During the course of the this lengthy argument the Hon Justice Sri Nagamohan Dasa observed that the applicant is focusing on the fact that he was not heard personally before passing the adverse remarks. The matter now before the court pertains to this issue alone. Senior counsel for ISKCON Mumbai argued that as Madhu Pandit Dasa was the President and an office bearer of the society had enough opportunity to be heard and was heard by the court through the various applications filed during the course of the appeal and suit. He further said that remarks passed in the order are intrinsic to the judgment and should not be expunged.
Responding to the arguments of the counsel for Mumbai, Sri Hari Shankar argued that it is imperative that one will have to go into details of the case in its entirety and hear the accused before concluding that he indeed is a fraud. Subsequent to hearing the arguments of the counsel on both sides Honorable court reserved its judgment.
One should also recall that on April 17th 2009, the trial court had given its verdictthat ISKCON Bangalore is indeed an independent society and that temple on Hare Krishna hill, Rajajinagar belongs to it, and ISKCON Mumbai should not interfere with the affairs of ISKCON Bangalore.

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