Published on February 21st, 2002 | by1
ISKCON Bangalore Trying to Seperate themselves from ISKCON…
Documents placed on record, prima facie, show title and possession of the plaintiff [ISKCON Bangalore] over the suit schedule properties [Temple]. Plaintiff is a society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. Plaintiff is an independent entity. Plaintiff apprehends unlawful interference by thedefendants 1 to 9 [Jayapataka Swami et. al]. Apprehension of the plaintiff cannot be said to be unfounded, at this stage of the proceedings, in view of the
On February 12th 2002, the Bangalore High Court was pleased to continue the order of Status Quo protecting the ISKCON Bangalore management from encroachment by 9 defendants, which include ISKCON Bombay, Jayapataka Swami and Gopal Krishna Swami. This Status Quo order, ordering the 9 defendants to not disturb the possession and control of ISKCON Bangalore by its current management has actually been in place since October 16th, 2001. It has been in force continuously since that day, and the High Court has now extended it even further. Though a lower court turned down the request of ISKCON Bangalore to extend Status Quo order indefinitely, the High Court has accepted ISKCON Bangalore’s appeal against the order, and has ordered that the Status quo protection remain in place until the matter is heard fully.
Please find below the orders passed in this matter since October 16th:
“Documents placed on record, prima facie, show title and possession of the plaintiff [ISKCON Bangalore] over the suit schedule properties [Temple]. Plaintiff is a society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. Plaintiff is an independent entity. Plaintiff apprehends unlawful interference by thedefendants 1 to 9 [Jayapataka Swami et. al]. Apprehension of the plaintiff cannot be said to be unfounded, at this stage of the proceedings, in view of the pleadings and the documents on record.
Therefore, an interim equitable order is felt necessary to maintain the status quo of the nature of the suit schedule property and the affairs of the plaintiff-society. Hence, I proceed to pass the following
Parties to the suit, except defendants 10 and 11 are directed to maintain status quo of the affairs of the plaintiff-society and the nature of the suit schedule “A, B and C” properties.”
The following order was then passed on February 6th, 2002 by the Bangalore Civil Court:
“Today, this court has passed orders on IA-2 dismissing the application of the plaintiff u/o 39 rules 1 and 2 CPC and thereby discharging the ad-interim order of status granted on 16-10-2001. There is no executable order. However, in view of the submissions of the learned counsel for The plaintiff, that the plaintiff wants to prefer an appeal against the order of this court passed today, I feel it just and proper that there shall be status quo of the affairs as obtaining today, till 13-02-2002.”
Finally on February 12th, the Bangalore High Court passed the following order which is the current situation:
“This Court doth Order that pending disposal of the above appeal, both the parties i.e., Appellant and Respondents be and are hereby directed to maintain status-quo.”
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a society having its registered office at ISKCON, Harekrishna Hill, Chord Road, Bangalore-10, by its secretary Stoka Krishna Dasa.
List of Respondents:
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a registered public Trust having its Registered Office at Harekrishna land, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049.
Bhima Dasa, Major.
Gopala Krishna Goswami, Major, 2 and 3 above are having their office at Harekrishna land, Juhu, Mumbai – 400 049.
Jayapataka Swami, Major.
Vinay Kalro also known as Vibhava Krishna Dasa, Major.
Ashok Kumar Gupta, Major.
B. Kiran, Major.
Sudhir Chaitanya Dasa, Major. 4 to 8 at No.5, I Cross, Sripuram, Sheshadripuram, B’lore –20.
Sarva Aishwarya Dasa, Major, ISKCON, Coimbatore Centre Harekrishna Land, 100 Feet, New Scheme Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
We hope this will correct the lie that has been propagated by GBC sources that ISKCON Bangalore has now been ordered by the court to return to the GBC. As can be seen from the court orders above, the court has always directed that a status quo be maintained between ISKCON Bangalore and the opposing parties. This means that the opposing parties are restrained by the court from disturbing the state of affairs as they exist today with full possession, control and management of the temple in the hands of ISKCON Bangalore.
Last week Jayapataka Swami, Jayadvaita Swami and others arrived in Bangalore, followed by 300 ‘devotee’ thugs from Mayapur, Bombay and other places to take-over the temple by force. They were hoping that the courts would not grant ISKCON Bangalore the status quo protection it desired. However we are happy to report that their nefarious plans were thwarted by the court order obtained and they have now dispersed back to wherever they came from.
Our court action also prompted the following story which was carried Internationally by the ‘Asian Age’ newspaper all over Asia as well as in the USA and the UK:
Dual Consciousness: ISKCON branches move court
By Madhu Prasad N.
Bangalore, Feb. 18: Differences over the acharyaship in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness have created a wedge within the organisation with members of the ISKCON Revival Movement challenging the authority of the ISKCON Governing Body Council in the court of law. The revival movement, spearheaded by Bangalore and Kolkata chapters of ISKCON, is taking on the GBC, which is controlled by ISKCON Mumbai. While in Kolkata, members of IRM dismissed from ISKCON by the governing body went to court in 1999 and managed to get reinstated, the Bangalore ISKCON took preemptive action by filing a suit in the city civil court seeking autonomy from Mumbai. The dispute has its roots in the differences over beliefs on acharyaship within the movement. According to members of the Bangalore chapter, the ISKCON Revival Movement believes that the founder of the ISKCON movement Srila Prabhupada was the last guru and none after him can be appointed to that position. On the other hand, the Mumbai ISKCON and the Governing Body Council contend that the representative appointed by acharya Prabhupada are his successors and hence can act as acharyas.
“Because of these difference, which have grown over the years, we thought it was necessary to distance ourselves from Mumbai. So we took the matter to court, filing for autonomy,” a representative of Bangalore ISKCON said. Representatives of ISKCON Mumbai, however, dismiss the talk of an ideological battle between the two groups as a mere eyewash. They contend that the Bangalore branch was filing for autonomy as it wanted get control of all property belonging to the movement in Bangalore.
“Therefore we have opposed the claims made by ISKCON Bangalore in court,” they said.
The current court case filed by ISKCON Bangalore is simply the latest in a long-line of legal battles between the two factions. Bangalore ISKCON had filed a suit in the city civil court seeking autonomy from its Mumbai counterpart and obtained a stay order restraining Mumbai from interfering with its administration. Later, Mumbai ISKCON managed to get the stay annulled. The Karnataka high court, however, restored the earlier stay order in favour of Bangalore ISKCON.
Meanwhile, ISKCON Revival Movement spokesperson Krishnakanth, who is based in London and is the author of the Final Order – a report on the interpretation of acharyaship, which sparked off the revival movement – claimed in a conversation with The Asian Age that; “The recent case which came up in the Bangalore city civil court last week regarding ISKCON Bangalore asserting its distinct legal identity from ISKCON Mumbai, has brought to the fore the campaign by the ISKCON Revival Movement to cleanse today’s ISKCON of corruption and mismanagement.”
“The ISKCON Revival Movement is a worldwide movement of ISKCON centres, which wish to follow the directives given by ISKCON’s saintly founder, His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Following Srila Prabhupada’s departure in 1977, ISKCON has been characterised by abandonment of the key directions given by Srila Prabhupada regarding how his ISKCON movement should be managed,” Mr Krishnakanth said.
The differences between the two factions began in 1999, after an attempt was made by the GBC to expel the leaders of the ISKCON Revival Movement from ISKCON Kolkata. This attempt however was successfully resisted in the courts, with the Kolkata branch filing a suit challenging the GBC’s decision to expel ISKCON members. Later in April 2001, supporters of those aligned with ISKCON Mumbai stormed the Calcutta temple and took control of it.
They were flushed out by the police.
“We don’t want a similar situation to develop in Bangalore. So as a pre-emptive move, the local ISKCON president filed a suit in the city civil court here demanding autonomy from Mumbai ISKCON, which controls the GBC,” a Bangalore ISKCON representative said.
The battle is set to continue in the Karnataka high court, with both the Mumbai and Bangalore chapters presenting their representative respective cases before it.
(ASIAN AGE: 19/2/2002)