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Karnataka High Court Appoints Amicus Curiae To Replace Petitioner In Case Against Cauvery Calling Project

Mustafa Plumber
3 Nov 2020 10:39 AM GMT
Karnataka High Court Appoints Amicus Curiae To Replace Petitioner In Case Against Cauvery Calling Project
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The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday appointed Advocate B V Vidyulatha as Amicus curiae to assist the court in a a petition raising objection over Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev's Isha foundation collecting funds from the public for the Cauvery Calling Project.A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty has now posted the matter for a preliminary hearing on...

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday appointed Advocate B V Vidyulatha as Amicus curiae to assist the court in a a petition raising objection over Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev's Isha foundation collecting funds from the public for the Cauvery Calling Project.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty has now posted the matter for a preliminary hearing on November 23.

The court had earlier removed the petitioner of the case, Advocate A V Amarnathan, after stating that his conduct was not that of a pro-bono litigant and converted the petition filed into a suo-motu case. The Court took this drastic step after noticing that the petitioner had sent a legal notice to 'Discovery Channel' asking it to desist from telecasting a show on the 'Cauvery calling project'

The channel had scheduled to air a program on August 24 about the Cauvery Calling project. However, on receiving the legal notice by the petitioner Amarnathan the program was cancelled. This was brought to the notice of the court by Isha Outreach.

The court took exception to the petitioner sending such a notice to the TV channel even though there was no stay order against the project.

The bench while removing Amarnathan noted "In his affidavit Amarnathan, instead of showing remorse, has justified what he has done. Therefore we cannot allow the petitioner to prosecute this petition as a pro-bono litigant. Orders passed by this court from time to time will show that the issue raised in the petition will have to be gone into. Therefore this petition will have to be treated as suo-motu (PIL)."

As per the petition, the Foundation is planning to plant 253 crores tree saplings across the 639 kilometer stretch of Cauvery river bank from its birth place Talacauvery to Thiruvarur. The Foundation is said to be collecting Rs. 42 per tree planting from the public. That means it is collecting a whooping sum of Rs 253 X 42 in total of Rs, 10,626 crores , which according to the petitioner is a major scam.

On January 7, the Court had asked the foundation to disclose the amount it had collected for the Cauvery Calling Project. The bench had then said "Do not be under the impression that you are not bound by law because you are a spiritual organization." Later, Isha Foundation told the Court that the project was being dealt with by Isha Outreach.


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