Osho disciple files PIL in High Court against ‘fund mismanagement’ in commune : Dec 23
Actually it is strange to hear of “Commune” mismanagement. Without bowing either way, the Resort in Pune is not a commune, though it may have been historically. A commune is where those involved actually also do all the work. Even in Pune one this was not the case, and “Indian workers” were seen around and about doing jobs which presumably Laxmi felt could not be seen as an avenue to meditation. In that she was wrong!
Some readers have asked what is a PIL: here is the definition:
Public-Interest Litigation (PIL, or जनहित याचिका) - litigation for the protection of the public interest. In Indian law, Article 32 of the Indian constitution contains a tool which directly joints the public with the judiciary. A PIL may be introduced in a court of law by the court itself (suo motu), rather than the aggrieved party or another third party. For the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction, it is not necessary for the victim of the violation of his or her rights to personally approach the court. In a PIL, the right to file suit is given to a member of the public by the courts through judicial activism. The member of the public may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), an institution or an individual. (SN reporters)
Within days of the Pune Police registering an FIR against six of the present management committee members of the Osho Commune for allegedly forging Osho’s will, Sandeep Kulkarni aka Zorba — an Osho disciple and member of the commune — has filed a PIL in Bombay High Court alleging mismanagement of funds by its present management committee by forming private companies. It also alleged that the committee has been biased towards Indians and bans people from entering the ashram in Koregaon Park — which is against Osho’s teaching.
The PIL, which was filed on October 10, has nine of the present management committee members as respondents — Ma Gatha, head of Welcome Center; Ma Vatayana, Global Connection Department; Swami Jayesh aka Michel O’Brian; Swami Amrito aka George Meredith; Swami Yogendra aka D’arcy O’Brian; Swami Dhyanesh Bharti; Swami Mukesh Sarda; Ma Sadhana and Swami Devendra Deol.
The PIL, has alleged that the management has formed private limited companies in London, New York and Zurich, and royalty from Osho’s books, audios and videos are siphoned off through them. The PIL has attached a list of 15 such companies from which, the applicant claims, at least three members of the present management committee are benefiting.
It may be noted that one Osho International Foundation (OIF) registered in Zurich, the parent body of the commune, claims to hold copyrights of Osho’s published works, and legal battles have been fought, such as the Oshoworld.com case and trademark case in the US, challenging the claims of the Foundation.
“The Foundation, however, continues to challenge those who make use of the word Osho or his works on the Internet without its approval,” said a former member of the commune.
The PIL alleged that the management is acting contrary to Osho’s teachings, who said his words should reach the world as soon as possible. “Ma Gatha, Ma Vatayana and Swami Dhyanesh are restricting the entry of many seekers around the world. Now maximum sanyasins do not come to India and even Indian sanyasins keep away from the ashram. Slowly, the Rajneesh Ashram is becoming a private affair for 8-10 people,” the PIL stated.
Kulkarni said, “Osho is the Master of Masters and his work should reach maximum people. The present management is acting contrary to Osho’s teachings and thus not letting his work reach people. In my PIL, I have prayed for immediate dissolution of the management committee and appointment of new trustees. Nobody should be banned from the ashram except those who have committed serious offences. The fundamental right to enter the ashram should be protected.”
Ma Amrit Sadhna, spokesperson of the Osho Commune, said: “The matter is sub judice. We cannot comment.”