IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
(In its Extra Ordinary Crl. Writ Jurisdiction)
Crl. Misc. Writ Petition No. of 2004 (Under Article 226 of Constitution of India) (Distt. Mathura)
IN THE MATTER OF: 1. Sakshi French S/o Late Carlton Bernard French, Qld, Australia
Presently at: Rockland Inn, C-30, Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi.
2. Geoffrey John Fletcher, S/o John Victor Fletcher, QLD. Australia.
Presently at: Rockland Inn, C-30, Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi. Petitioners
Versus State of U.P. Through S.S.P. Mathura, U.P.
2. Station House Officer, Vrindavan, Mathura, U.P.
3. Director, C.B.I., C.G.O. Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. ... Respondents TO THE HON'BLE CHIEF JUSTICE AND HIS OTHER HON'BLE COMPANION JUDGES OF THE AFORESAID HON'BLE COURT.
THE PETITIONERS ABOVENAMED MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH AS UNDER:
1. That this is the first Writ petition of the petitioners against the present cause of action and no other Writ petition has been filed by the present petitioners before the Hon'ble Court or before Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.
2. By way of present Writ Petition the petitioners herein are seeking indulgence of this Hon'ble Court for a direction by way of writ of mandamus or such other writ/order/direction to the Premier Investigation Agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (hereinafter referred to as C.B.I.) to initiate investigation into the suspicious and mysterious death of his Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founder Acharya of ISKCON way back in November 1977. Although the incident is of 1977, the petitioner have come to know not only of the cause of death of Srila Prabhupada, but the fact that despite bringing those apprehensions relating to the death of Srila Prabhupada to the higher authorities of ISKCON, no action has been taken to report the commission of cognizable offences to the appropriate authorities. Aggrieved by inaction of the higher authorities of ISKCON, the petitioners approached the respondents but to no avail. Thus the petitioners are filing the present petition.
3. The petitioner herein are disciples of late Srila Prabhupada and are citizen of Australia.
4. The brief facts which gives rise to the filing of the Writ petition are as under:
(i) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founder Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He was an authentic spiritual master and had ignited Hare Krishna movement a spiritual revolution in the hearts and minds of thousand devotees all over the world. In 1972 Srila Prabhupada created a Governing Body Commission (GBC) from the ranks of his disciples to oversee the spiritual growth of the Hare Krishna movement. Srila Prabhupada focused on translating the ancient vedic scriptures and writing Bhaktivedanta, purports.
Srila Prabhupada enjoyed absolute authority and control over the vast assets of ISKCON (ISKCON has got 500 Centres all over the world). Many of the senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada desired to be initiated as his successors gurus who would enjoy control over the spiritual and material legacy after Srila Prabhupada's time. Unfortunately Srila Prabhupada did not devise any procedure to protect the long-term interest of ISKCON from any predatory take over, prompted by selfish motives.
(ii) Early in 1977, Srila Prabhupada became increasingly ill. Despite treatment from various ayurvedic doctors his condition did not improve. It was later discovered that he had symptoms of chronic heavy metal poisoning. In the last days of his life in November 1977 he also made several statements directly and indirectly that some one had poisoned him. His attending caretakers, specifically Bhakticharu, Tamal Krishna and Kaviraja confirmed his understanding in recorded conversations at that time.
Although this fact was suppressed at that time the petitioners subsequently learnt that the chemical analysis of the hair from Srila Prabhupada collected during 1977 showed the presence of poisonous metals like arsenic, and cardmium. The quality of the residues of these metals in the hairs from SP showed that he was subjected to sub-acute doses of these poisionous metals for a long period, with the criminal intention caused the death slowly but surely without arousing suspicion.
(iii) In late 1997, 20 years after the death of Srila Prabhupada some tape recorded conversations establishing the fact that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by few people closely associated with him were discovered by chance by the Petitioner and other disciples of Srila Prabhupada. Following the discovery concerned followers of his divine grace Srila Prabhupada informed GBC (Governing Body Commission of ISCKON) about the said incidents. The GBC in turn assured the concerned parties that an investigation would be undertaken to look into allegations raised by Srila Prabhupada himself regarding the issue of his deliberate poisoning which led to his death.
To launch the promised investigation, the GBC executive committee appointed Balvanta Das (Willaim Ogle) a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and a practising attorney for 20 years. During the course of investigation Balvanta Das found much evidence which indicated that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned. However, the investigation could not be completed without further research due to lapse of funds intentionally by GBC. But various findings and reports which clearly show that Srila Prabhupada was poisioned was discovered in process of investigation. The report of Balvanta Das is enclosed as Annexure-A.
(iv) The petitioners and other disciples of the Srila Prabhupada were shocked to see the report of Dr. Morris dated Jan. 6, 1999, which was based on the analysis of a hair embedded on movable cutter of the clipper. Where he found arsenic in the hair in the amount of 2.6 parts per million which is considered to be 20 times greater than would be expected in an average person living in United States. The report dated Jan. 6, 1999 of Dr. Morris is attached as Annexure-B.
(v) The petitioner also discovered that the report of Richard T. Callery Chief Medical Examiner, Director Forensic Sciences Laboratory dt. Feb. 5, 1999 stated that "In my opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainly, that this individual with the history of multiple myocardial infarcts and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and considering his age would be an individual in frail health in which a chronic administration or exposure of arsenic leading to toxic levels would be expected to be a significant contributing condition to his death." The report is attached as Annexure-C.
(vi) Further the tape recordings of the conversations between Srila Prabhupada and his followers clearly shows that Srila Prabhupada suspected that he was being poisoned and had symptoms of those who had been poisoned. Further the recording of the conversation in the last day of his life showed that someone present in the room on that fateful day made a comment about the poison being taken by Srila Prabhupada. These sound recordings prove that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned by someone close to him. The transcript of tape recorded conversation is attached as Annexure-D.
The authenticity of the tape has been proved by various certified reports by various agencies. The report dated 13.4.98 by Helen A. Mc Caffrey is annexed as Annexure-E. The other report dated 1.8.2001 by Owl Investigation Incorporated is Annexure-F, which endorses the authenticity of the tape.
5. That the petitioners finding that no action has been taken by GBC to approach the Police, approached the police authorities and reported the matter to them and requested them to initiate investigation. However, the police authorities failed to even record the grievance of the petitioner for the motives and intention best known to them. Thereafter the petitioners have sent a written complaint to the concerned police authorities and again requested them to lodge an appropriate F.I.R. and to initiate detailed investigations in the matter but the police authorities failed to initiate an investigation in the matter. That the aforesaid inaction giving a justifiable doubt that the local police authorities are being pressurized from certain quarters for not initiating an investigation. The copies of the complaints are collectively annexed as Annexure-G. That being aggrieved by non co-operation and inaction by Local Police Authorities in initiating an investigation the petitioners were convinced with the fact that the suspected persons are influential, approached the prime investigation agency namely the C.B.I. with the complaint dated 7th November 2004, but the CBI also did not initiate any investigation in the matter which compels the petitioner to approach this Hon'ble Court. The copy of complaint to CBI is annexed herewith as Annexure-H.
6. Being aggrieved by the inaction of the Police and the CBI the petitioners are filing this writ petition inter alia amongst other on the following grounds:
GROUNDS A. That the respondents have failed to act in accordance with duty and obligation cast on them by statute, the said duty and obligation being to act fairly and fearlessly without any influence in enforcing the law of the land;
B. That upon receiving information disclosing commission of a cognizable offence, the mandate of Sections 154 & 156 Cr.P.C. is that the police shall register an FIR and proceed to investigate the matter, which mandate of law it is submitted, has been ignored and violated by the Respondents in the present case.
C. The Hon'ble Court as well as the Hon'ble Supreme Court have in a series of decisions held that where the matter involves great public interest, investigation by an independent agency such as the CBI should be directed. In the present case where the life of a great soul, spiritual and religious leader, head of the ISKCON, was unlawfully taken away.
D. That where as in the present case, the conduct of officers of the State i.e. Respondent No.1 and 2, manifests a disturbing degree of indifference and a deliberate failure to investigate serious offences apart from the deliberate delays which would result in evidence being lost due to ulterior motives, only a direction for investigation by the C.B.I. would instill confidence in the public that a fair and impartial and unbiased investigation will be done.
E. The petitioners state that Respondents No.1 and 2 did not act or carry out any expeditious and essential investigation despite the fact that there was clear and clinching evidence of the offence of serious nature under Section 302 and 120B IP has been committed.
F. The petitioner submits that the Central Bureau of Investigation who have investigated by various complex matters including national and international offences, have the experience, understanding, skill, manpower, integrity and jurisdiction to conduct a thorough in-depth investigation. The petitioner apprehends that investigation into the said FIR if left with the U.P. Police would lead to closure of the case causing grave and irreparable harm and injury to the Petitioner and injustice towards the various disciples of Srila Prabhupada all over the world. The petitioner further submits that under the circumstances it has no alternate efficacious remedy.
PRAYER It is, therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased:
a) to issue a writ in the nature of mandamus and/or any other appropriate writ, order/direction to the Respondent No.3/CBI to register the case/FIR and investigate the matter;
b) to issue a writ in the nature of continuing mandamus and/or any other appropriate writ, order/direction to the Respondent No.1 Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case and to furnish the report to the Hon'ble Court till the pendency of the petition;
c) to pass such other further order(s) and/or directions as this Hon'ble Court deem fit and proper;
d) order as to costs be also awarded to the petitioner.
AND YOUR PETITIONER, AS IN DUTY BOUND SHALL EVER PRAY.
E-529, Greater Kailash-II,