Osho Rajneesh fake will: Court wants specialised body to take up case

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Osho Rajneesh fake will: Court wants specialised body to take up case

Bombay High Court wants Pune Police's economic offences wing to investigate whether the spiritual guru's will is fake or real.

The Bombay High Court today asked the Pune Police commissioner if the Osho Rajneesh fake will case could be transferred to the commissionarate's Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

The division bench of Justices BR Gavai and BP Colabawala asked the public pleader, "Do you have an EOW? Why don't you transfer the case to the EOW as there can be specialised investigation?"

Yogesh Thakkar, a former trustee of Osho International Trust and a disciple of Rajneesh, had filed a criminal writ petition alleging that a fake will was produced by the current trustees of the trust and that they were siphoning off intellectual property rights of Osho under that will.

Osho Rajneesh died in Pune in 1990; in 2013 a document purporting to be his will surfaced in Spain.

REAL OR FAKE?

Thakkar had registered an FIR against the current trustees with Pune's Koregaon police station back in 2013. Alleging that the police had done nothing he had approached the high court asking for the case to be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The Bombay High Court had previously roped in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) while hearing Thakkar's petition complaining of embezzlement of funds under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema).

Advocate Sandesh Patil appearing for the ED said, "Our investigation is going on and we have started to look at papers from 2000. But our difficulty is that until and unless the title of copyright is established it will be difficult for us to proceed."

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Pradeep Havnur objected saying that the title was already decided as the trust was registered in India so it belongs to this country.

The government pleader in the case said that to find out whether the will was fake or not could only be verified after the original document was brought from Spain. A letter rogatory had been sent to the Spanish government.

At this, advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing intervenors who are disciples of Osho from Spain, said, "They are only fooling the court. A letter rogatory is totally misconceived. They will only get a reply saying that the government of Spain has nothing to do with this as the will is with the European Union Intellectual Property Office."

The court then said that the investigation should be handed over to a competent authority. It ordered the Pune Police commissioner to file a reply within a week if the case could be investigated by the force's EOW.