Himachal: Karmapa summoned over currency row

The 17th Karmapa has been summoned in March over the seizure of foreign currency worth Rs 70 million from his monastery in 2011.

Shimla: Tibetan religious head and the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has been summoned by a Himachal Pradesh court in March over the seizure of foreign currency worth Rs 70 million (over USD 1.4 million) from his monastery in 2011, police said on Thursday.

Officials from the Karmapa`s office based in Dharamsala said the Karmapa is out of station for over a fortnight to preside over the annual activities and therefore has not received the summons.

The chief judicial magistrate of Una has asked the Karmapa and nine others involved in the case to be personally present in the court on March 06, Additional Director General of Police SR Mardi said.

The charge sheet was filed by police on December 07, 2011.

The Karmapa has been charged under penal provisions related to conspiracy. The other nine accused included the Karmapa`s aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama.

On January 28, 2011, police recovered currencies of 26 countries, including CNY 120,197 and around Rs 5.3 million in Indian currency, from the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery located on the outskirts of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

It was after the seizure of Rs 1 crore meant for land purchase that police conducted searches at the monastery and recovered the currency.

Director General of Police DS Manhas told reporters in Shimla last month that during the course of investigation, police came to the conclusion that the Karmapa had a role in the currency row.

He said, "Since the Karmapa was heading the (Karmae Garchen) trust, all financial transactions being carried out by the trust relating to land purchase were in his knowledge."

The Karmapa`s office said in a statement that "from the beginning, His Holiness (the Karmapa) has full trust in the Indian legal system and that he will cooperate and follow due process".

"One of the three staff members of the Karmapa Office of Administration named in the charge sheet was in Dharamsala and received a summons," it said.


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