Udayavni Special

Sam Peter extortion case: GSB community demands action on Raghavendra Theertha


Team Udayavani, Aug 30, 2019, 11:28 AM IST

Mangaluru: “We will meet police commissioner Dr Harsha to take stringent action against Raghavendra Theertha alias Shivananda Pai for his involvement with Sam Peter and his associates”, said the president of GSB Temples’ Association Jagannath Kamath in a press meet held at the Sri Venkataramana Temple Car Street here on August 29.

“It is shocking and painful to read the news appearing in many newspapers and news portals about the fake NCIB director Sam Peter and 7 others arrested in Mangaluru. During interrogation, Sam Peter has revealed that Raghavendra Theertha alias Shivananda Pai and Ramachandra Nayak of Udupi had approached him for help to install Raghavendra Theertha as Matadhipathi of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan, Varanasi by cohesion and threatening the reigning Matadhipathi of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan Srimad Samyameendra Thirtha Swamiji and followers of the Shree Kashi Math Samsthan. This is a shameful act which the GSB community condemns,” said Mr Kamath.

“Shrimad Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji had given sanyasa deeksha in the year 1989 to one Shivananda Pai of Ernakulum who after acceptance of sanyasa deeksha came to be known as Raghavendra Theertha. As part of the grooming process, through a circular dated April 4, 1994, certain duties were entrusted to him with effect from 12 December 1994 by the Matadhipathi of Sri Kashi Math Samsthan. In order to facilitate proper discharge of the said duties, the sacred deities, paraphernalia, insignia, articles and jewellery were also made available to him. However, once those duties were delegated and the deities, jewellery and other articles belonging to the Samsthan entrusted can be retained only by the Swamiji of the Samsthan acting on behalf of the Samsthan. The style of functioning of the Raghavendra Theertha became one of flouting the concept of obedience required of him and also the custom, usage and traditions of Sri Kashi Math Samsthan. However, as he himself found it difficult to follow the customs and conventions of the Swamiji of the Samsthan acting on behalf of the Samsthan, he requested the Matadhipathi, His Holiness Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji to relieve him of his duties on 4 November 1999. After waiting for a reasonable period to see whether the request was the result of any precipitated thought, ultimately finding that he is not mending his ways, Srimad Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji relieved him from all duties and responsibilities entrusted to him by a circular dated 19 July 2000. Further, he was disinherited,” he informed.

“Once, he was relieved of his responsibilities and duties he was not expected or entitled to hold any of the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia, jewellery, assets and properties of the Samsthan which is held by the sanyasi of the Sansthan not in his personal name but only as the sanyasi and Swamiji of the Samsthan. In fact, when the request for return of the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia, jewellery, assets and properties of the Samsthan started coming, he entered into a conspiracy with some of his henchmen who are around him and advising, aiding, and promoting him. As motivated by the other accused on the basis of conspiracy, with a view to retain the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia, assets and properties of the Samsthan, suppressing all facts, on 23 August 2000 styling the aforesaid entrustment of articles by the Madathipathi as ‘abdication’ of Madathipathya by Shrimad Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji, he filed a declaratory suit seeking for the position of the Madathipathi of Shri Kashi Math Samsthan Varanasi in O.S. No. 34/2000 on the file of III Additional District Judge, Tirupati. In the said suit, His Holiness Srimad Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji raised a counterclaim in the form of permanent prohibitory injunction restraining him from interfering in any manner in the affairs of Shree Kashi Math Samsthan and its administration. Also a decree of mandatory injunction directing Raghavendra Thirtha to hand over all the deities and other articles entrusted by the Madathipathi within a time frame. Ultimately, after a prolonged trial, on 28 January 2009 his suit was dismissed with cost by the IV Addl District Judge, Tirupathi and the counterclaim raised by the Madathipathi was decreed directing him to return the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia, assets and properties of the Samsthan within a month from the date of judgment,” he added.

“Raghavendra Theertha miserably failed to get those orders suspended even by approaching the Apex Court, thereby he was duty-bound to return all the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia, jewellery, assets and properties of the Samsthan to the Matadhipathi. He kept it thereafter was in violation of the court orders. Finding that residing at Tirupati, he cannot sulk away from handing over the items, he removed himself from Tirupathi, during which process, he carried all the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia, jewellery, assets and properties of the Samsthan which he was duty-bound by law to return to the Matadhipathi and settled at Dwaraka Kala Mandir, Puthukkalavattom, Elamakkara; a property purchased by him from the funds diverted and siphoned off from Sri Kashi Math Samsthan. Finding that the sacred idols, paraphernalia, insignia. Jewellery, assets and properties of the Samsthan were not returned by him in terms of the decree passed, the Matadhipathi instituted execution proceedings before the court which passed the decree and on the statement of Raghavendra Theertha that he is residing at Dwaraka Kala Mandir, Elamakkara, the decree had to be transferred to the District Court, Ernakulam for execution,” he explained.

Later a petition was given to police commissioner regarding the issue.

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