The Andhra Pradesh High Court through a verdict delivered on Wednesday March 25, has upheld the earlier verdict of Tirupati district court regarding a dispute over the possession of idols and other assets belonging to Kashi Math. The lower court, delivering its verdict over a case filed by Sri Raghavendra Teertha, who was earlier the ‘Patta Shishya’ of Sri Sudhindra Teertha but was divested of the position, over the possession of idols, had ordered that all the idols, movable assets and other paraphernalia belonging to Kashi Math must be restored to Sri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji with immediate effect.
Sri Raghavendra Teertha had approached the Andhra Pradesh High Court through an appeal, seeking a stay order against the operation of the said verdict. The High Court, besides rejecting t
he appeal, also asked the appellant to reimburse the suit costs to Sri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji and upheld the verdict delivered by Tirupati court.
In a detailed judgment delivered by the High Court, High Court Judge Justice P S Narayan gave a point by point verification of the claims of the appellant and ordered that the verdict of the lower court be obeyed. It may be recalled, that Sri Raghavendra Teertha, who was anointed as the ‘Patta Shishya’, and next in succession to Sri Sudhindra Teertha Swamiji in the Kashi Math lineage, had in 1999 November, asked himself to be relieved from his tutelage. On July 19 2000, the Swamiji divested Sri Raghavendra Teertha of all the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the Math, and adopted Sri Samyameendra Theertha as his successor on June 2, 2000.
With the above judgment, the Gowda Sarawat Brahmin community is relieved that a protracted legal battle has come to an end in a way they had been hoping for.
Latest information on the case (updated on 20th August 2011)
Ernakulam District Court in a landmark judgement today (19th August) directed Raghavendra to return the deities to Sreemad Sudhendra Theertha Swamiji within 15 days in the Execution Petition (EP) filed by our Swamiji. The court set aside the only objection raised by Raghavendra that Ernakulam District Court is not the competent court to hear the EP since he is not under the jurisdiction of the court.
Direction to return deities upheld by High Court (Updated on 5th September, 2011)
|The order of the Ernakulam District Court directing Raghavendra Theertha to return the deities to Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji, Mathadipati of Shree Kashimath Samsthan within 15 days was upheld by the Honorable High Court of Kerala.The appeal filed by Raghavendra Theertha challenging the order and questioning the competency and jurisdiction of the District Court was dismissed on 5th September by Justice Thomas P Joseph.The Execution Petition filed by the senior swami at Tirupati District Court was earlier transferred to Ernakulam District Court taking cognizance of the affidavit filed by Raghavendra Theertha that he is staying at Ernakulam. But he avoided directions of the court and the court appointed commission found that he along with the deities and other paraphernalia is missing from his disclosed residence at Ellamakkara a suburb in Ernakulam. Later he appeared before the court through an attorney and claimed that he is on a pilgrimage tour and presently visiting Tirupati but will be moving to other places immediately thus avoiding the disclosure of his whereabouts. In its order dated 19th August directing Raghavendra Theertha to return the deities, the District Court has not given merit to this argument|
Latest Update on the Ragavendra Theertha (Updated on 2nd November 2011)
It is unfortunate, that Raghavendra Theertha, a former Sishya, who was ousted from his position in the Kashimath, due to his own acts and omissions unbecoming of a Sanyasi or Sishya, refuses to hand over the Deities and paraphernalia attached to the Samsthan, even after the direction of the Hon’bleDistrict Court Tirupati, High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. In a specific direction by the Hon’ble District Court, Ernakulam dated 19.8.2011, he was directed to hand over the Holy Deities and other articles, to H. H. Sreemad Sudheendra Theertha Swamiji of Kasi Mutt Samsthan, within 15 days of the order. Raghavendra Theertha has not complied the order even after the dismissal of the Revision Petition (CRP 398/2011) by the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala vide order dated 5th September 2011. But yesterday the day ended with a very good news for the GSB community. As stated in the news paper EENADU: He was staying at Indranagar Near to Kadapa district, Raghavendra Swami and Laksmikanth were residing at plot number 814.Since both were not interacting with the villagers and unknown people used to visit that place, villagers gave a compliant to the nearest police station on benefit of doubt. Police has found a Laptop and lot of gold ornaments with them. They also found the 600 years old gold Lakshmi Devi’s idol , few Panchaloha Idols, Tiger nail and currency notes worth 8.75 Lakhs INR. Police initially that the they (Swami and are smugglers, but swami claimed with proof that he’s a Swamiji from Kashi Math. Both were arrested and the enquiry is going on. It is to be noted that some of the ornaments and idols belonging to the Math are missing. Police has rushed off from Ernakulam to bring him back to Kerala, since the execution petition was charged by the EKM district magistrate. Fresh cases were also registered against him. His bribing spree seems to have hit a hard wall. The Kadapa District court extended his Judicial custody till 8th November.