Himachal High Court turns down plea over pressing criminal charges against Karmapa

Shimla: The Himachal High Court today turned down a petition over exclusion of the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorjee’s name from the charge sheet in a case where unaccounted currency was recovered from a vehicle and a Buddhist monastery, last year, on the grounds that the petitioner held no locus standi in the matter.

Petitioner, an NGO – Denzong Nang-Ten Sung-Kyob Tsogpa had submitted before the court that some senior government officers were trying to subvert the course of justice to illegally favour the Karmapa and were hurting the sentiments of the Buddhist community.

Division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the NGO was not an affected party in the matter.

The Himachal government only yesterday had decided to not press criminal charges against the Karmapa in the criminal case where over Rs 6 crore of Indian and foreign currency was recovered during a routine checking of a vehicle and later from the Gyuto monastery, near Dharamsala, where the Tibetan spiritual resides.

Though Karmapa and nine others had been booked under section 321 of Criminal Procedure Code PC in the case but senior officials decided to drop the name of the spiritual leader, “after taking the opinion of home and law department, it came about that no case was made out,” said a senior government officer handling the matter. Police had filed a charge sheet in the case on Dec 7, 2011.

A chief judicial magistrate had sought presence of the Karmapa in court at Una on March 6 but he did not appear before the judge.

The Karmapa through an application had asked the government to drop charges against him as he was not directly involved in the currency row.

On January 28, 2011, police after seizing a vehicle with bags of currency had raided the Gyuto monastery and stumbled upon currencies of 26 countries, which included 120,197 Chinese Yuan’s.

Claims to head the Karma Kagyu school, one of four prominent branches of Tibetan Buddhism, and be accepted as the 17th Karmapa in the community is under dispute but the 26 year old Ugyen Trinely Dorjee has the backing of the Dalai Lama after he made a daring escape from Tibet to join him at Dharamsala in the year 2000.

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