Friday, 17 October 2014

The First Phase of Litigation

The first phase of litigation between the trustees and we five sisters began on and from 23.03.2001. The circumstances and cause of action for all multifaceted arose from the point where Jayashree was brutally assaulted in the presence of one of the trustees of Ashram, one Veda Prakash Johar, who did nothing to stop the inhuman assault. Thereafter the trustees tried their best to suppress the incident of assault. But because of our persistent demand for justice, we were all targeted one by one.

On 21.03.2001 Hemlata was issued a chit saying that her name had been removed from ‘Prosperity List’ of the Ashram. Prosperity List is a list of all the inmates who are being taken care of in every way by the Ashram and are completely dependent on the Ashram for their survival. Based on this chit Hemlata filed a civil suit for permanent injunction on 23.03.2001 in the morning in O.S. No.215/2001 before the Hon’ble I Additional Munsif at Pondicherry. (See postings of 09.01.2001, 30.03.2001 and 13.09.2002)

As a way to shush me for repeatedly demanding and later threatening to go to the police to lodge a complaint for Jayashree’s assault, the trustees punished me by allowing me to take food only through carrier service. I complied for about three weeks then realizing that we were being needlessly targeted, I wrote to the concerned trustees that I was going to resume taking my food at the Ashram Dining Room. On 22/3/2001 I was allowed to take food from the Dining Room counter. But on 23.03.2001 when with my four elder sisters I went for breakfast none of us were given food. (See posting of 24.03.2001).

After I filed O.S. No.215/2001 I was charged with false allegation of misconduct. After issuing appropriate legal notice for defamation I filed a criminal case defamation in S.T.R. No.864/2001 on 03.04.2001 before the Judicial Magistrate I of Pondicherry where the then trustees and their three henchmen were accused of defaming me and spreading lies about me. (See postings of 15.05.2001, 06.11.2001 and 24.11.2004). The accused were acquitted because the judge had been compromised. I have preferred a criminal appeal in Cr.A. No.477/2005 challenging the unjust acquittal and it is pending disposal before the Hon’ble Madras High Court. But till date this case remains the only one where all the trustees appeared in person as accused and faced the Judge and because of this indigestible humiliation the trustees have never forgiven my family and me.

The trustees came to know about this criminal case even before the notice reached them. They were furious and targeted my four elder sisters also. My sisters were issued with an illegal show cause notice backdated to 02.04.2001. This show cause notice already contained the punishment even without going into the veracity of the allegations made against them. My sisters were falsely accused of ‘misbehavior and defiance’. On 09.04.2001 they filed O.S. No.253/2001 challenging the malafide show cause notice issued to them before the Hon’ble I Additional District Munsif at Pondicherry. For ten long years needlessly the battled raged on in this case. (See postings on 15.04.2001 and 09.04.2010)

Since the trustees misrepresented before the Hon’ble Madras High Court, my suit in O.S. No.215/2001 was summarily terminated and Mr. Menon was appointed as the third enquiry officer to conduct an enquiry into the allegations of misconduct leveled against me. He submitted to my lawyer at Madras/ Chennai a perverse undated report and before the trustees could take action based on Mr. Menon’s impugned report I challenged the same on 14.11.2002 by filing O.S. No.668/2002 before the Hon’ble I Additional District Munsif at Pondicherry. (See postings dated 14.11.2002, 03.12.2002, 01.03.2003 and 23.09.2008). The trial has been underway for the past four years and it could have been finished had the trustees not delayed and protracted the proceedings, which they are still doing. The trustees have had to pay fine two times of Rs.2,000/- for failing to conduct the trial of the case.

The easiest way to discredit and humiliate a lady is by casting aspersion on her character, conduct and behavior. This is how all the five sisters were subjected to gross humiliation. As we kept challenging the unjust actions of the trustees the first phase of the litigation unfolded.

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