THE BOMBAY High Court on Friday pulled up the Pune police for their investigation in a 2013 case relating to allegations that the will of spiritual guru Osho was forged. The court was hearing a plea seeking transfer of the case to the CBI filed by the managing trustee of charitable trust Osho Friends Foundation, Yogesh Thakkar. At an earlier hearing in August, the court had been informed by the Pune police that a copy of the will was sent to a handwriting expert. On Friday, the court was informed by Sangeeta Shinde, additional public prosecutor, that the report by the expert remains inconclusive.
Shinde told the court that the expert has said that since the will provided to him to examine was a photocopy, he would be unable to give his opinion on it. The prosecution told the court that the original copy had not been traced but it was learnt that it was last seen in Spain. The spiritual guru with followers across the world died in 1990. “We have sent a request to the Central government on issuing the Letter Rogatory for further investigation and are awaiting their reply,” Shinde told the court.
The court asked the Pune police whether it had been pursued with the Central government. “You (Pune police) are taking it very casually. What is the progress since last month except writing a letter for the LR and getting a handwriting expert’s opinion? This is not proper…it shows your seriousness,” the court said. The petitioner in the case has alleged that the accused in the case had fraudulently created a false document claiming it to be the spiritual guru’s will prepared in 1989 ‘to support a false claim or title to the intellectual properties of Osho’. The petition further claims that the accused had siphoned off income and articles of Osho and were fetching millions of dollars per annum outside the country.
The division bench of Justices NH Patil and PD Naik also said that it had expected a senior officer to be present in court instead of the junior officer who was sent. The court ordered a senior official to be present during the next hearing and also directed the Pune police for an update on the investigation on October 25. Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate also told the court that it was probing into allegations of misappropriation of funds of Osho Rajneesh Trust after receiving complaints.
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