Apex Court Dismisses ISKCON Mumbai’s Appeal
By: Bharatarshabha Dasa, Bangalore.
Jan 9, 2012, Monday
The Supreme Court of India today dismissed an appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai, seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore. The Supreme Court Bench consisting of Honorable Justice HL Dattu and Honorable Justice Chandramouli KR Prasad today gave this judgment on the appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai challenging the verdict of the High Court which had opined that no contempt was committed by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa. While pronouncing the verdict one of the Honorable Judges said that Supreme Court is not a forum meant of settling scores and ISKCON Mumbai’s petition attempts to settle some scores with Madhu Pandit Dasa.
ISKCON Mumbai (registered 1971) had tried in various ways to force the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore (Registered 1978) to follow a deviant system of guru succession, in direct contrivance to the desires of Srila Prabhupada the founder and acharya of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any successor to occupy the position of the acharya of ISKCON, on the contrary he ordered that a system of initiations thro’ rtviks or officiating priests who initiate every one as disciples of Srila Prabhupada be instituted. Being harassed by various motivated interferences of ISKCON Mumbai which supports the deviant ninety odd unauthorized gurus who claim to be successors to Prabhupada, ISKCON Bangalore filed a suit requesting the court to give a permanent injunction restraining ISKCON Mumbai from interfering in its affairs. The honorable High court and honorable Supreme Court had given interim orders in the favour of ISKCON Bangalore. Finally after examining close to 700 documents and hearing the arguments of both counsels the Honorable Civil court gave its verdict on April 17th2009. In its verdict court granted an injunction permanently refraining ISKCON Mumbai from interfering with the affairs of ISKCON Bangalore.
ISKCON Mumbai went on appeal on this order to the High court of Karnataka. The appeal in the High Court was being initially heard by Hon Justice K L Manjunath. But Honorable Justice received a mystery packet via mail, which resulted in him recusing from the case. Before recusing the Hon judge initiated suomoto contempt charges against Madhu Pandit Dasa and five others. This contempt of court case came up for hearing in front of the divisional bench of Hon Justices Sreedhar Rao and Subhash Adi. The divisional bench gave a split verdict. Justice Sreedhar Rao opined that Madhu Pandit Dasa and all others were not guilty of contempt whereas Justice Subhash Adi agreed that Madhu Pandit Dasa and a lawyer was not guilty of contempt, but he held that other four are guilty of the contempt. Due to a split verdict the case was posted to a single member bench. It was heard by Hon Justice Smt Manjula Chellur, who also held that Madhu Pandit Dasa was not guilty of contempt. She further said that two lawyers are also not guilty of contempt, but she held that other three are guilty of contempt.
ISKCON Mumbai contended that Madhu Pandit Dasa is indeed guilty of contempt. It may also be recalled that on the same contempt of court case ISKCON Mumbai had applied to high court trying to implicate Sri Chanchalapathi Dasa, Stoka Krishna Dasa and other governing council members of ISKCON Bangalore, which was dismissed. The Honorable Supreme Court had dismissed those applications too.
Now in an attempt to harass Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore ISKCON Mumbai had challenged the verdicts of three high court judges and filed a petition and contended that Madhu Pandit Dasa was guilty. It was dismissed by the Apex court today terming the petition as intended to settle scores.
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