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ED probing fund misappropriation of Osho Trust, HC told

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday informed the Bombay High Court it has started investigation into complaints of alleged fraud and misappropriation of funds of an Osho Rajneesh trust even as Pune police faced the court’s ire for its “casual” approach in its probe.

A division bench of justices N H Patil and P D Naik was hearing a petition filed by Yogesh Thakker alleging that Osho’s signature was forged in his will by the trustees of the Osho International Foundation.

According to Thakker, the trustees allegedly transferred money from the trust to private companies owned by them. In 2012, Thakker wrote a letter to Pune Police 

Commissioner following which an FIR was lodged against the trustees in 2013, but so far there has been no progress.

Following this, Thakker approached the high court seeking transfer of the case to CBI. Osho Rajneesh passed away in 1990 and his will was prepared in 1989.

Thakker alleged the will was forged and supported his claim with a report of a private handwriting expert. He sought CBI probe in the matter.

Meanwhile, Pune police on Friday informed the court that it had written to the central government seeking permission to issue Letters Rogatory to foreign countries seeking certain documents pertaining to the case.

“We are still awaiting reply from the central government. Meanwhile the government handwriting expert has said that he will not be in a position to give his opinion on the veracity of the Osho guru’s signature based on the photocopy of the will. The original will is not available,” additional public prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde told the court.

Irked with this, the court said, “You (police) are taking this case very casually. On the last hearing itself we had said a senior police officer should remain present when the matter is heard... but on Friday some junior level officer has come. You are just wasting our time. Since last four to five years you are investigating.” 

Meanwhile, advocate Sandesh Patil, appearing for the ED, informed the court that the central agency has also started its probe in the matter after receiving complaints.

“We are looking into the allegations and have called for case related documents,” he said.

The court posted the petition for further hearing on October 25 and directed for a senior police officer to remain present in court.
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