Sadhguru's 'Isha Outreach', which is managing the Cauvery Calling project, on Wednesday informed the Karnataka High Court that it has moved the Supreme Court challenging an order passed by the High court on October 15, 2020.
As per the said order, the High Court had converted the PIL against 'Cauvery Calling' - a drive launched by Sadhguru to plant tree saplings along Cauvery river-into a suo moto case, after removing the petitioner AV Amarnathan on account of his objectionable conduct.
During the hearing today, the counsel for Isha Outreach sought adjournment for four weeks saying that the order dated October 15, 2020 has been challenged by filing a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. The organization is challenging the High Court's decision to proceed with the case even after the removal of the PIL petitioner.
Based on the submission of Isha Outreach's counsel, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Suraj Govindraj observed in the order :
The observation was made after the government clarified that 'Cauvery Calling' was not a project of the Government of Karnataka and that the Government was not funding or providing any aid to it.
Isha Outreach had submitted a memo to the court stating that it has published on its website a statement saying that the Cauvery Calling project is an initiative of Isha Outreach.
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.
In January last year, the Court had asked Isha Foundation to disclose the amount it has 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 its subsidiary Isha Outreach.