Karmapa cash row: Police to file charge sheet
Shimla: Over seven months after foreign and Indian currency worth Rs.70 million was seized from the monastery of the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Himachal Pradesh Police have completed their investigation and are all set to file the charge sheet.
Superintendent of Police Sumedha Diwedi told reporters that the charges would be formally filed any day in a fast-track court in Una town.
"The investigation has been completed. Initially, charges have been framed against the accused under relevant sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code)," she said.
The police are awaiting sanction from the central government for prosecuting the accused under the Foreign Currency Regulation Act (FCRA). "As we will get the sanction, offences under FCRA would be added in the charge sheet," Diwedi said.
Meanwhile, the fast-track court of R.K. Sharma in Una last week directed the police to hand over the seized currency to the central government's Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Diwedi said a copy of the court order is yet to be received.
Police Jan 28 recovered the currency of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs.5.3 million in Indian currency, from the Karmapa's Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery, on the outskirts of Dharamsala, from where the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama heads his government-in-exile.
It was after the seizure of Rs.1 crore meant for land purchase that the police conducted searches at the monastery and recovered the currency.
Subsequently, seven people were arrested. Among them was the Karmapa's aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama. All seven are now on bail.
The Karmapa's office has told the investigating agencies the money was collection of donations from followers.
The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism. He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.