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ED probing diversion of Osho funds, HC told

mumbai Updated: Oct 08, 2016 00:27 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds and properties belonging to Osho Foundation, the Bombay high court was informed on Friday.

A bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice PD Naik was hearing a petition filed by Yogesh Thakkar, a Pune resident and follower of Osho Rajnish, complaining that the spiritual guru’s signature on the will was allegedly forged.

The bench also hit out at the Pune police for their casual approach in the probe.

Advocate Sandesh Patil, who represented the central agency, said, “We are investigating under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act. We received some of the documents on Wednesday.” 

The petitioner alleged that funds were diverted out of India and into private accounts of some the trustees of Osho International Foundation. 

According to Thakkar’s counsel, Pradip Havnur, although the FIR was registered on December 8, 2013, the police have not even obtained the report of a handwriting expert to ascertain the veracity of Osho’s will, which surfaced 23 years after his death in a Spanish court . 

Assistant public prosecutor Sangita Shinde informed the bench that the state handwriting expert has expressed his inability to give any conclusive finding based on the photocopy of the will.  The judges then asked the prosecutor what steps the police have taken to bring back the purported original document. Shinde replied that a letter rogatory has been sent through the central government, but they have not received any response. 

The judges rapped the state as the investigating officer was not present in the court. “That shows your seriousness in investigation,” said the bench. “You are taking this very casually,” the bench added and expressed displeasure that a junior officer had been sent to the court, instead of the investigating officer.  The court has now adjourned further hearing on Thakkar’s petition for two weeks expecting the Pune police to take substantial steps in investigating the case.