Are politicians eyeing Osho's Rs 1,000 crore property in Pune?
- Abhay Vaidya, DNA
- Oct 10, 2011, 07:03 AM IST
Pune: A major property dispute is beginning to erupt over the lucrative Koregaon Park properties controlled by the Osho International Foundation (OIF), conservatively estimated at Rs 1,000 crore and spread over 35 acre.
On Wednesday, two followers of controversial mystic Osho, also known as Osho Rajneesh, petitioned to the charity commissioner, Mumbai, raising serious objections to OIF's application no 87/11 (P.T.R. No. F 14570 (M)) filed under section 36 of the Bombay Public Trusts (BPT) Act, 1950. Read: Osho followers vow to protect Rs 1,000 crore Pune property
Section 36 of the BPT Act, 1950, states that 'pre-sanction of charity commissioner for sale/mortgage of immovable property of public trust is must irrespective of whatever is mentioned in the bye-laws of the trust'.
The petitioners -- Yogesh Thakkar, alias Swami Prem Geet, and Kishore Raval, alias Swami Prem Anandi -- prayed that 'the application to sell the property situated at Pune be rejected' as the Pune properties were established by Osho's followers 'with hard labour, time, money and dedication' for the purpose of teaching Osho's philosophy.
The petition stated that the activities of the OIF and its trustees were influenced mainly by three individuals 'in an attempt to sell the trust premises at Pune to politically influenced persons from Pune and Mumbai'.
These three individuals were identified as Michael O'Byrne, alias Swami Jayesh, George Meredith, alias Swami Amrito, and Darcy O'Byrne, alias Swami Yogendra, who are leaders of the Osho faction that took full control of the Osho trusts after the mystic's controversial death at his Pune commune on January 19, 1990.
The petition alleged that efforts were on to convert the activities of the foundation into a private limited company for which a company called "Osho Multimedia & Resorts Pvt Ltd." had been established wherein the trustees are directors of the said company.
This company, the petition said, was established for commercial gains that went against the basic principles of Osho and his philosophy.
The petition stated that the Pune properties of the Osho Foundation represented a spiritual home for the Osho community worldwide and if this sale was allowed by the charity commissioner then, it would cause a great loss to Osho's legacy which he had left for the mankind.
Incidentally, Osho's Samadhi with his ashes is located in the erstwhile Osho Commune that was later transformed into the Osho International Meditation Resort. Originally established on a five-acre plot after Osho moved base from Mumbai to Pune in the mid-1970s, the Commune gradually expanded to own 35 acres in Pune.
An online 'Save Osho Premises at Pune' campaign has already begun among Osho's followers worldwide to galvanise support for the impending battle against any plans to sell the Pune properties.