Pune EOW to probe Osho trust fund fraud case

Bombay high court told of development when hearing a petition alleging embezzlement of funds by some of the trustees

mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2018 00:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Pune,Osho
The Enforcement Directorate is also conducting parallel investigation into the embezzlement of Osho trust funds. (HT PHOTO)

The commissioner of police, Pune, has transferred the complaint alleging embezzlement of funds of Osho trust to the economic offences wing of the Pune police, Bombay high court was told on Tuesday.

The bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and BP Colabawalla was hearing a petition filed by Yogesh Thakkar, an ardent follower of Osho, complaining of embezzlement of funds by some of the trustees and violations under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) by using a forged will of the spiritual guru.

According to him, a document stated to be Osho’s last will and testament surfaced in legal proceedings in Spain, 23 years after his death. A number of Osho followers subjected a photocopy of that document to forensic examination and found it to be forged.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also conducting parallel investigation into the embezzlement of Osho trust funds.

Acting on the petition, on August 12, another bench of the court had ordered that the Reserve Bank of India and the ED be made respondents in the petition. The petitioner has accused Osho International Foundation (OIF), Switzerland and trustees Mukesh Sarda, Michael Byrne, John Andrews, D’Arcy Byrne and Klaus Steeg of defrauding the Indian Osho trusts of crores of rupees.

The petitioner has also demanded that a police complaint pending before the EOW, Mumbai, dated February 9, be registered as an FIR and that the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 be invoked to look into this “multi-million dollar fraud”.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 00:36 IST