Directions given to State to proceed in accordance with law against the chairman of Karma Garchen Trust

Himachal Pradesh High Court- In a major setback for the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, also the Chairman
of the Karma Garchan Trust, Sidhwari (respondent 3) in a currency seizure case;
Sureshwar Thakur, J., set aside and quashed the order by the learned Judicial
Magistrate 1st Class wherein the application seeking permission for withdrawal
from prosecution against respondent 3 was allowed. The Court stated that the
ground for withdrawal mentioned in the application by the Assistant Public
Prosecutor i.e., respondent 3 is a “Dharam Guru” having an immense following
and the successor of His Holiness Dalai Lama, if not accepted would vitiate
relation between the Indian Government and the Tibetan Government in exile, does
not fall within the domain of the legal principles enshrined for permission being
granted to withdraw from prosecution. The Court held that the acceptance of the
application under Section 321 of Criminal Procedure Code by the learned
Judicial Magistrate on the above said ground has caused immense jolt to the
administration of criminal justice.

In the instant
case police had intercepted a vehicle at Mehatpur barrier from which Rs 1 crore
cash was recovered. Two persons, including the driver, were arrested. During
investigation carried out at Gayato Monastery, Sidhwari unaccounted currency of
different countries were found which were taken into possession. Further
investigation revealed of an illegal land transaction made for Rs 5 crores
instead of 2.5 crores. Investigations also revealed that the illegal foreign
currency was converted into a sum of Rs 1.21 crores.

On perusal of
facts and evidence, the Court observed that the ground mentioned in withdrawal
application that the evidence against respondent 3 is scarce cannot be accepted
as the role of a criminal conspirator imputed to respondent 3 in the report of
the Investigating Officer is a discreet role and gains legal foothold not by
direct evidence but by indirect evidence which is portrayed by the fact of him
being the chairman of the Karma Garchan Trust in whose favor the property was
purchased, thus having knowledge of the land transaction and the tainted money.
The Court, while allowing the petition also directed respondents 1 and 2 to
proceed according to law against respondent 3. [Denzong Nang-Ten Sung-Kyob Tsogpa v. State
of H.P., 2015 SCC OnLine HP 1585, decided on 06.07.2015] 

Source: Legal news India

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