Acting on a petition filed by a disciple of spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh, the Bombay high court on Friday said that the Pune police should try to trace and bring back the original will of the guru to India.
The petitioner, Yogesh Thakkar, had alleged that the existing will of Osho is a forged one. The division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Prakash Naik felt that in order to properly investigate the matter, the police should try and retrieve the original will to compare Osho’s signature the purportedly forged will with his admitted signatures.
The bench also allowed the petitioner to join the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to as party respondents to the petition.
The order came after the petitioner’s counsel, advocate Pradeep Havnur, pointed out that the petitioner had informed the RBI about siphoning off millions of dollars from the Osho foundation’s account to Switzerland, the United States of America and Europe. The RBI had, however, merely informed the petitioner that it had forwarded the complaint to ED, which is empowered by law to investigate transactions involving siphoning of funds out of India, said Havnur.
The petitioner alleged that the Koregaon police have not obtained the handwriting expert’s report yet although the FIR was registered on December 8, 2013 on the basis of complaint lodged by him. In the complaint, Thakkar had alleged that that the will, which surfaced 23 years after the spiritual guru’s death, was fake.
The FIR also alleged that the six beneficiaries of the will — Michael Byrne, D’Arcy Byrne, Philip Toelkes, Dr John Andrews, Mukesh Sarda and Llaus Steeg — were siphoning off money from Osho International Foundation to Zurich, Switzerland by using private companies set up by them.
In his petition, Thakkar has also raked up the issue of Osho’s suspicious death on January 19, 1990. He claimed that those close to the guru did not let a doctor present there examine him but asked him to issue a death certificate.
In support of his claim, the petitioner has annexed an affidavit by Dr Gokul Gokani, who was present in Osho ashram on the day of his death. Dr Gokani, who was Osho’s disciple since 1973, has stated that he was not allowed to see Osho before he died and was asked to issue his death certificate only after the spiritual guru had breathed his last.