The High Court on Monday took a public interest petition on alleged irregularities by Ramachandrapur Mutt seriously and refused to allow the petitioners to withdraw their petition. The court further said it will take stringent action against the petitioners if the petition is filed with a bad intention.
The petition was filed by the Association for Social Transparency, Rights and Action and Shree Kshetra Gokarna Hitarakshana Samiti last year stating that there are a lot of irregularities in the Mutt and sought a CBI inquiry in the matter.
During the hearing on Monday, the Samiti filed an application seeking withdrawal of the petition and even the counsel representing them said that he will also withdraw from the case.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna observed that there is an allegation that petitioners Chandan and advocate Mallikarjun Patil had blackmailed Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamiji of the Mutt and at this stage, the petitioners cannot withdraw their PIL and dismissed their application.
The counsel representing the Mutt submitted that the Chandan and Patil demanded `10 crore from the Swamiji during a sting operation. Later, they were arrested and sent to judicial custody. Chandan is still in jail, but Patil is out on bail. It has been proved that they have filed the petition with a bad intention, he argued.
Justice Waghela came down heavily on the petitioners and said, “What do these people think about the PIL? It was made to help the poor and protect them from corruption. The court won’t allow to misuse of this petition and it will take stringent action against them.” The bench directed the Mutt to file an affidavit on all the developments and adjourned the case till April 28.