Una judicial magistrate Kanika Chawla on Monday allowed the application moved by the state government, pleading for the withdrawal of charges under Section 120-B pertaining to criminal conspiracy against Tibetan spiritual leader, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
Pleading on behalf of the state government, assistant district attorney moved an application under Section 321 of CrPC for withdrawal of prosecution "in public interest and administration of justice" since the Karmapa was an internationally respected religious leader and a prominent person.
The development occurred even as Karmapa Charitable Trust at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim opposed the withdrawal of criminal charges against the Karmapa in the case, pertaining to seizure of unaccounted Indian and foreign currency of more than Rs 5 crore in January last year from a SUV in Una, besides Tibetan monasteries in Dharamsala.
On January 26, 2011, Una police had seized Rs one crore from a SUV at Mehatpur inter-state barrier. Investigations revealed that the cash was to be paid as ernest money by Dharamsala-based Tibetan Karmae Garchen Trust to one KP Bhardwaj for purchase of prime land in Sidhbari near Dharamsala and the latter's close aide, DK Dhar, manager of a bank in Ambala had allegedly faked a transit certificate for the cash from his bank.
A case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 489-C and 120-B of IPC was registered against nine accused. Dorje was booked under Section 120-B for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy for laundering money.
It was learnt that since the Tibetan issue held international ramifications, the Union government was under pressure to strike off the name of Karmapa from the list of the accused.
Consequently, last month, the office of the Una district magistrate received a letter from principal secretary (home), government of Himachal, conveying the decision of the state government to withdraw the criminal case pending against the 17th Karmapa.