Mangalore, May 12, 2019: An FIR No.0061/2019 has been registered at the Surathkal Police station under sections 403, 406, 420 and 34 of the IPC for cheating, criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and cheating against three individuals - Samyamindra Teertha and two managers of a bank, Surathkal Branch, Mangalore. The FIR was filed late evening on May 11, 2019.
According to a media release by Narendra Nayak of Desha Premi Sanghatanegala Okkuta the FIR is based on a complaint filed by Raghavendra Thirtha, identifying himself as the 21st pontiff of Kashi Mutt. While the case prima facie seems to be that of a dispute on the assets of the mutt, the criminal element has crept in as the FD receipt was in the name of Raghavendra Thirtha and the bank has transferred the amount to some other person without a proper authorization from the original beneficiary, the news release said.
This matter has a larger dimension too. Late Vinayak Baliga who had been murdered brutally in March, 2016 allegedly for questioning the irregularities in the affairs of the Kashi Mutt and Venkatramana Temple was said to be in the know of all these affairs. His sisters have been trying to get a special investigation team to go into these issues but have not met with success so far, the news release further stated.
The following is an extract of the news release giving further details:
“The complainant had deposited an amount of Rs.10,00,000 at the above mentioned bank when he was camping in Mangalore on 10-02-1999 as per receipt no 474760(387/98-99). On 22-02-2019 he requested the accused no 3 to provide the statement of account for the deposit and was informed that the amount had been transferred in the name of a mutt headed by one HH Shrimad Samyamindra Thirtha Swami as he had produced the original receipt and some records relating to a case OS 34/2000. This however turned out to be a suit between Late Sudhindra Thirtha and Raghavendra Thirtha and any decree in his (Sudhinra Thirthas) favor could not be used to enforce some other property in someone else’s name!
While the FD was in the name of the individual Raghavendra Thirtha it was transferred to the other name allegedly the head of a mutt. Since the accused No.1 had produced a FD receipt which was not in his name the criminal conspiracy between the accused arises! The complaint states that these being cognizable offences, the accused have to be proceeded against. It has been also questioned as to how the accused No.1 came in possession of an FD receipt which was in the name of the complainant!
Hence the FIR has been made and submitted to the 1st CJM court at Mangalore city. It is also said that there are several such deposits and the details were all known to the murdered RTI activist Vinayak Baliga who is supposed to have had records of the same. The papers were all taken by the police of the Barke police station and there have been allegations that some of these have been destroyed. While this case can go on, the reasons behind the murder of Vinayak Baliga has to be investigated and that would be possible only through a SIT constituted specifically for this purpose.
In the murder case of Vinayak Baliga the police did not have the courage to question Samyamindra Thirtha. Will they dare to in this case is something that has to be seen or is it that such people are above the laws of the land? While a common man committing such offences would be summoned to the police station interrogated and arrested, the religious heads seem to be immune to laws of the land.”
It may be recalled that Kashi Math Samsthan has been facing a long standing dispute regarding ownership and succession. The dispute began between Swami Sudhindra Thirtha, the 20th head of the math and his then disciple Raghavendra Thirtha. Subsequently Swami Sudhindra Thirtha had disowned Raghvendra Thirtha and anointed Samyamindra Thirtha as his disciple and successor.
Swami Sudhindra Thirtha passed away three years back and this led to further dispute with Raghavendra Thirtha claiming to be the rightful successor and the 21st head of Kashi Math, which belongs to GSB community. All these disputes are entangled in a series of court cases which are yet to be resolved. The mainstream GSB community has largely been backing the succession track of Samyamindra Thirtha and Kashi Math is presently running under his authority. The minuscule followership of Raghavendra Thirtha has been facing social boycott for the last two decades.
The present FIR filed by Raghavendra Thirtha against Samyamindra Thirtha could put Kashi Math to great stress due to the legal implications arising out of the nature of complaint.