27 Jan 2014

Peter Heehs Challenges the Book Ban in the High Court of Orissa ― by Bireshwar Choudhury

The Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram are again busy at their job of helping Peter Heehs malign Sri Aurobindo in the public domain. A week back Peter Heehs challenged the gazette notification passed by the Orissa Govt on 9 April, 2009 proscribing the Lives of Sri Aurobindo and thankfully sparing the Indian readers from its derogatory content on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The move to lift the ban on his book has obviously the backing, the full support and blessings of the Ashram Trustees, for otherwise how could you expect Peter Heehs (who is an impudent dud in legal matters) to move the High Court of Orissa by himself? The Trustees will surely deny their connection with it, as they have always denied in every embarrassing issue related to their ham handed administration. But how long can they pretend not to back Peter Heehs while doing everything on heaven and earth to keep him happy? How long will they publicly pretend to be neutral and circumspect while risking the displeasure of the entire Sri Aurobindonian community by their actions that betray their real intentions?
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26 Jan 2014


I was assigned with the Ashram’s legal work as in-house lawyer from about January 1998. I was attending to Ashram’s legal matters usually along with senior   counsels   Sri   R. Padmanabhan   and   Sri C.S. Narasimhan. Approximately  during  September-November   1999,  Manoj   Das Gupta Ashram Trustee, Purushotham Iyengar and Matri Prasad who are like secretaries to the Trustees (actually there is no designation or hierarchy in the  Ashram  as  such  except  for  administrative  responsibility  as a departmental head or a Trustee) approached me and informed me that we have to meet Harikant C. Patel, the then Managing Trustee, with regard to some purchase of properties. I went along with them to Harikant C. Patel who was in the Ashram Nursing Home in the beach road due to hip-bone fracture. Harikant started the meeting and told us that there is one building known as ‘Ragavan House’ on the Junction of St. Louis Street and St. Gilles Street. He said it is a place where Sri Aurobindo lived and Ashram has been enjoying the property as a tenant for the last about 30 years. That the Ashram now desires to purchase the house. Purushotham Iyengar mentioned that the house owner one Mr. Selvarajan is not willing to sell the house since so many years and asked me as to how to go about it.
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21 Jan 2014





Cr.  M.P.  No. 1301 / 04 in Cr. No. 2/2003

S/o  Narendranath Das Gupta     Petitioner/Accused - 4


State  rep. by  S.H.O.  CID P.S.
Pondicherry  thro'  PP            Respondent/Complainant

This petition coming on this day for hearing before me in the presence of Mr A. Bakthavachalam, Advocate for the petitioner. Thiru K. Shanmugam Public Prosecutor for the State, upon hearing both sides and after perusing the case records, this court passed the following:
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13 Jan 2014

Former HC judge dead – The Hindu, 13 January 2014, Kochi

Former judge of the Kerala High Court T.L. Viswanatha Iyer died here on Sunday. He was 82.

Mr. Iyer, who was ailing for some time, died at a private hospital here. The funeral was held at Ravipuram crematorium.

Mr. Iyer was appointed judge at the High Court of Kerala in September 1986 and held the post till 1994. After retiring, he practised law at the Supreme Court and was designated a senior advocate at the court in 1994. Last year, the former judge had been appointed enquiry officer to look into the allegations of sexual harassment of women and children at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry.

He is survived by his wife R. Vijayalakshmi and three children. People from various walks of life paid their last respects to the jurist. Former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer; Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala Justice Manjula Chellur; current and former High Court judges, and Advocate General K.P. Dandapani, were present. 

Staff Reporter
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6 Jan 2014

A Shady Property Purchase by the Ashram Trust

[The following is R.K. Selvarajan’s complaint filed with the Inspector of Police (C.I.D.) on 18 February, 2003 regarding the fraudulent sale of three of his properties to the Ashram Trust by his son Murugavel. The Ashram Trustees connived in the deal with the son so that he could sell the properties to the Trust without the knowledge of his father. When the matter was reported to the C.I.D., Manoj Das Gupta had to file an advance bail petition to prevent his arrest and was made to sign a bond of Rs 5000/ for his release.  The then Ashram lawyer P.P. Raghavachari had warned him of the consequences of this shady deal, but the Trust did not listen to his advice and went ahead with the purchase only to land into deep trouble and disrepute. – Bireshwar Choudhury]



I am residing in the above said address, I have leased out my house properties bearing Door No. 12 & 13 at Goubert Avenue (Beach Road), Pondicherry, No. 13 at Saint Louis Street, Pondicherry, and No. 3, Lai Bahadur Shastri Street, Pondicherry to Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry for a monthly rent of Rs. 10,000/- in total for the said premises. The premises has been let out to the said Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 30 years back.

I further submit that on 26.06.2000 I have received a reply letter for my letter dated 20.06.2000 from one Harikant C. Patel who is the Managing Trustee of the said Aurobindo Ashram Trust, stating that they came to know from reliable sources that I had donated the properties which are all under their occupation as a tenant in favour of my son S. Murugavel by a registered donation Deed. After receipt of their said letter, I was shocked and gave reply to the said Managing Trustee that I had not donated the properties which are under their occupation to anybody and I also informed them not to rely upon unreliable sources of information. I had also asked them to continue the existing Landlord tenancy relationship.
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