‘Iskcon Mumbai owns City arm’ Bangalore, May 23, DHNS
In a verdict that puts an end to a decade-old feud, the High Court of Karnataka on Friday ruled that the entire property of Bangalore’s International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) belongs to the Iskcon Mumbai.
Hearing a petition by Iskcon Mumbai, the Division Bench comprising Justices Nagamohan Das and Arali Nagraj said that since the administration of Iskcon Bangalore happens from Mumbai, the plaintiff society cannot interfere in the administration of Mumbai.
The Court also restricted any organisation claiming to be from the plaintiff society in Bangalore from interfering with the affairs of the local branch of Iskcon.
“Any organisation claiming under Bangalore plaintiff is restrained from interfering with the affairs of the Bangalore branch of Iskcon registered at Mumbai.”
Stating that Iskcon Bangalore has no legal existence, the Bench upheld the Iskcon Mumbai’s claim that the plaintiff society was defunct.
“There is no legal existence to the Bangalore society. By falsifying accounts, president Madhu Pandit Das has conspired to breathe life into the society.”
Pointing out that Madhu Pandit Das’ statements in earlier litigations that Iskcon Bangalore is a branch of Iskcon Mumbai, the Bench said the property of Iskcon Bangalore is the contribution to original branch at Mumbai.
Stating that none of the documents produced by Madhu Pandit Das show that the property belongs to the plaintiff society, the Bench said that even the tax is paid by the Mumbai organisation.
The court further observed that Das fabricated the documents and the tampered accounts with fabricated papers was disbelieved by the Court. However, the court said that Das and other officers will continue as officer-bearers as per the bye-laws of Mumbai.
However, the Iskcon Bangalore sought to stay the order as they were approaching the Supreme Court. The Bench directed Iskcon Mumbai to file objections on Tuesday.
Iskcon Bangalore, which was established in 1978 by Iskcon Mumbai had selected Madhu Pandit Das as President of the new branch in 1984.
Das functioned under the directions of Mumbai and would send annual audit report as per the bye-laws of Iskcon Mumbai.
However, the process ran into rough weather when the Mumbai organisation found differences in the audit report and deviation from philosophy of Iskcon Mumbai.
A series of legal battles continued until the IX Additional City Civil Court ruled in favour of Bangalore in 2009 and the Mumbai organisation approached the High Court in the year 2011.
Iskcons gird up their loins for battles off court too
Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 8:26 IST
By Srikant Hunasvadi | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
The Karnataka high court’sorder that the Mumbai Iskcon is real title holder for the Bangalore Iskcon properties, sent the the two parties into a tizzy.
Within hours of the judgement, there was a flurry of activity at the West of Chord Road headquarters of Iskcon, Bangalore.
Local Iskcon authorities immediately sought the enhancement of police presence at their West of Chord Road complex. Additional police forces were rushed to the complex. Besides civil policemen, private security personnel too man the Iskcon complex.
Representatives of Mumbai Iskcon, meanwhile, petitioned GT Ajjappa, ACP, Malleswaram subdivision, alleging that the Bangalore outfit was plotting to smuggle out of the West of Chord Road premises computers with valuable data.
They urged the city police to prevent this as the high court had declared Mumbai Iskcon as the rightful owner of the Bangalore properties.
Over 200 devotees of Mumbai Iskcon said to be camping in Bangalore are believed to be working on taking physical control of the Iskcon complex on West of Chord Road, following the Karnataka high court delivering the judgment in their favour.
According to sources, devotees are staying in groups in Bangalore city and are likely to enter the Radha Krishna Temple to take physical posession of the property.
In view of the high court declining to grant temporary stay on its judgment and the Supreme Court being on vacation, any intervention by the Apex Court is expected to take at least three to four days.
The Mumbai Iskcon devotees’ plan is to take possession of the property before that, sources added.
ISKCON Mumbai petitions Home Minister
Bangalore: Following the High Court verdict in favour of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Mumbai, Varadakrishna Das, president of the Mumbai ISKCON in Bangalore, filed a petition with Home Minister R. Ashok apprehending funnelling off of jewellery and other valuables from the temple here.
The Karnataka High Court, on Monday, ruled that ISKCON, Bangalore, had falsely claimed properties of ISKCON, Mumbai, and that the former is not an independent autonomous body.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Varadakrishna Das said that the Bangalore branch has sought a stay on the High Court order. “We fear that Madhu Pandit Das, president of ISKCON, Bangalore, his family members and associates may try to siphon off jewels and other precious items worth crores from the temple,” he said.
Over the past 12 years, devotees from across the world have donated crores of rupees by way of gifts to the temple, Mr. Varadakrishna Das said his petition on Monday evening and urged the Home Minister to provide protection at the temple. “This is a sensitive matter. We have urged him to ensure that nothing is removed from the temple compound,” he said.
He said that Mr. Ashok had directed the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police for a 24-hour vigil at the temple and make an inventory of all the jewellery and valuables at the temple.
Kanakapura MLA D.K. Shivakumar welcomed the court verdict and urged the Government to take over the temple and appoint a senior IAS officer as its administrator.
Mumbai Iskcon is the real thing, Bangalore body fake: HC
Bangalore: The legal battle between Bangalore and Mumbai arms of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) ended on Monday with the Karnataka high court ruling that the Mumbai Iskcon had rights over the properties of Iskcon, Bangalore.
Hearing the regular first appeal (RFA) filed by Iskcon, Mumbai challenging the April 17 verdict of IX additional civil and sessions court ruling that the property in Harekrishna Hills in Rajajinagar belonged to Iskcon, Bangalore, a special division bench of justices HN Nagamohan Das and Arali Nagraj on Monday observed that the Bangalore body had no right over the scheduled properties.
Iskcon, Bangalore then filed an application seeking a stay on the high court order until it could file an appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court. The application will come up for hearing on Tuesday.
The bench observed that Iskcon, Bangalore was not a legally constituted body and it was a branch of the Mumbai outfit. The society and office-bearers of Iskcon, Bangalore have no right to interfere with the functioning and managing of the properties in the city. They had miserably failed to prove the legal existence of Iskcon, Bangalore as an independent autonomous body, it said.
The court also said that there was no evidence on record to show as to when Madhu Pandit Das, president of Iskcon, Bangalore enrolled as a member of the organisation.
It further observed that Iskcon, Bangalore was a defunct society and was taking advantage of the similarity in its name with that of Mumbai Iskcon. It had fabricated documents and was falsely claiming its right over the properties. There was no evidence on record to show that the properties were built by Iskcon, Bangalore.
The bench further directed that Madhu Pandit Das and other full-time devotees were entitled to continue to function at the Iskcon, Bangalore in accordance with the byelaws and rules of the Mumbai Iskcon.
The Karnataka high court observed that Iskcon, Bangalore was to conduct its first general body within 18 months of its registration in 1978 and elect a governing body.
However, it had not done so which was a clear violation under the Section 1(2) of the Karnataka Societies Registration Act. From 1978 till March 2002, the plaintiff society had not even filed its returns with the income tax department.
The society filed its income tax returns for the first time in March 2002, showing a fund of about Rs 35.59 crore in its balance sheet, the court pointed out.
Iskcon, Bangalore failed to show that it was owner of the immovable property bearing survey nos 174 and 175 in Ketamaranahalli which is now Rajajinagar II stage and property measuring six acres and eight guntas at No 3, 1st cross, 3rd stage Gokula, Mysore.
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Please visit www.ISKCON-BDA.org to find out more details of Madhu Pandit Dasa’s frauds