Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Posts Tagged ‘Indian Justice’

Sathya Sai Baba: Symbol Of A Vastly Corrupt India Resistant To Reform

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 16, 2012

For over a decade, many of Robert Priddy‘s and my articles have insisted that the changes Sathya Sai Baba promised for India (much less – and more megalomaniacally still – the world) have, in extreme degree, failed to materialize.   See:  India will lead the world – Sathya Sai Baba and:  Official Sai Baba Documents Show His Death Date Prophecies Failed and:  Sai Baba’s failed predictions, doubtful birth date, doubtful age, doubtful death and:  Most predictions by and about Sai Baba failed

He was appalling off-target in regard to the future, but blundered quite as egregiously  in matters relating to the past.  See:  Sathya Sai Baba Made Huge Science and History Mistakes.  He himself is now of the past, so his prophecy, below, is now part of the huge junk pile of his glaring errors:

A huge array of India’s power elites – including many successive Indian Prime Ministers and Presidents – who so often visited him – profoundly failed to go within light years of following his teachings about truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence.  He himself failed to live up to them.

Social injustice, corruption, casteism, nepotism, military and police violence and other extreme malfunctions always were, and are, as rife in India.  See:  Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement” and:  Will India clean up its Augean police and political stables? and:  Police, Security and Sathya Sai Baba

Former devotees and others who have worked to expose the crimes, misdemeanors and spiritual betrayals of Sai Baba and many of his core leaders have faced enormous obstacles. One of these has been the failure of almost the entire Indian media. The  honorable exception was India Today.  In a professional way, it dealt with our witnesses (individuals of outstanding professional and other credentials) both from other countries and well as from India.  To often, there there was the often skillfully disguised hatred of westerners only too familiar to experts on India  –  a trait interpretable as stemming from India’s long experience with British imperialism and, before that, the crashing waves of Mughal invasion. In dealing with her power brokers, no one should fall for the infinite charm.

It is to the Indian media’s undying shame that foreign media in various countries had to take the lead in surfacing facts about the 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, the serial and wide scale sexual abuse of boys and young men, etc.

Establishing the bona fides of former devotees from many countries around the world took coordinators a vast amount of time and hard work.  

However, with demonstrable intellectual dishonesty, individuals like the deputy chairman of the world Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkatarman, residing at Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi headquarters, tried to impute ill motives to many former devotees many of whom had outstanding records of service and devotion when members of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and attribute gross incompetence to the BBC, The London Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, among others.  

Venkataraman’s poverty of intellectual discourse can be seen in various other directions, too.  With telling use of documents, Robert Priddy, retired philosopher and social scientist of the university of Oslo, Norway,  exposed Venkataraman for serious science plagiarism of a sort which, were the deeds not perpetrated in an India rank with corruption of every sort, would probably have seen him in great trouble in the academic world elsewhere.  See:  Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism and:   Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

It took many decades before Indian news reports adverse to Sathya Sai Baba and his cult could be seen.  There is the irony that non-resident Indians around the world saw the BBC (see:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba), and many other media, expose Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult – which the Indian media almost exclusively denied to their readers and viewers.  See:  Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List.  Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order

Our private contact with leading Indian journalists, including with editors of major media, has long underlined the power of the Sathya Sai Organization to keep stories out of the press, no matter how great the scandal. It was many decades too late that the Indian media ran the sort of stories now impossible to suppress.  See:

Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens

‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

This was not until the last stages Sathya Sai Baba’s illness, his death (about which leading devotees themselves questioned Sathya Central Trust’s highly irregular handling of matters), and the vast millions worth of currency, gold, silver and other valuable items which Sai Baba secreted in his private quarters.  

In a note to a senior Indian investigative journalist on a top Indian television channel, I wrote (in part):

 (How could) “a Trust – charged with due diligence! – first, dismiss all suggestions that a unaccounted treasure could lie hidden, and issue emphatic statements that all-is-above board – with only cheques from, and receipts issued to, donors – and, YET, later, only after repeated contradicting detection, come up with another explanation altogether?

If they were let loose on the Sai Baba and Sai Trust saga, Indian newspaper cartoonists would have a field day,  ….! You potentially have a great story. But will you and your Team dare to go for it, X? Where are all the editorials? The serious Ed.Op pieces? Where is there a persistent raising of vital questions – e.g., about the circumstances leading up to Sai Baba’s death/ the death certificate circumstances/ the ordering of his golden casket from a source in Bangalore well before his death / his body weight at the time of his hospital admission / the reported concern of Sai Baba’s team of highly senior doctors about lack of information on any medications being given to him before his emergency admission to their care / or about the lack of statements from doctors and nurses and, above all, Dr Safaya at the Sathya Sai hospital who resigned en masse / or about Satyajit (about whom there is so much silence, and yet so much noise – indeed bluster!  –  from V. Srinivasan and R.J. Ratnakar)?What of the on-again, off-again resignations of Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati? And of the former world Sathya Sai Organization head, Indulal Shah? And so on ……..”.  

See:  Sathya Sai Baba Saga: Is There Too Little Indian Media Critical Analysis?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Has Sathya Sai Baba’s Will Been Found? Which Will will Prevail? Divine Will or Earthly Will?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 19, 2011

In a communication just received, a private source of information relates:

“Bhagwati is pro Satyajit and hence threatened to quit the trust, but was pacified. Day before yesterday in a trust meeting, several trust members walked out in a huff. Some trust members are being spied upon by Ratnakar’s agents. My sources tell me that Trust legal advisor Naganand has actually admitted a will was found”.

I feel that we have reasonably, and at quite some length, exposed ex-Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati.

                                                                                       Sri Sathya Sai Trust’s P.N. Bhagwati – “No Replacement For Baba”

See my articles:

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 4, 2011

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2011

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

I regret, however, that I am not able to proceed with information that I have received, separately, from legal and retired diplomatic sources, which wish to remain highly circumspect.

I will say, however, that I trust there will be alert researchers from the media and other investigative areas who are able to get a bead on how Bhagawati went in pursuit of his United Nations and Chief Justice of India jobs. There is salient opinion of him around Lincoln Court Inn and other legal watering places redolent of his London days. If bona fide investigators contact me, I should be able to point in some useful directions. Email address:  barpittard@gmail.com

Such alert investigators may like to see what they can uncover about the jeweller in Bangalore who long made many gold and silver ornaments, subsequently “materialized” by Sathya Sai Baba. Even nearer to Puttaparthi, journalists should not have too much difficulty in tracking down another such jeweler. Further afield, we are informed, are a jeweler in Mumbai and another in Hyderabad. Still another lost his deal, and was, apparently, deeply upset. Again, we have some direction-pointing resources sleuths may like to use, if it would not lose too much face for them to ask a foreigner:  barrypittard@gmail.com, with professional assurances of confidentiality where required.

Among those sleuthing in and around Puttaparthi are:  Daijiworld Media Network—Anantapur, near to Puttaparthi in the State of Andhra Pradesh,  and feeders for The New Indian Express Group.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

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Sai Trust divided over Sathya Sai’s will

The New Indian Express
Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 09:36am IST
 Anantapur: By opening the doors of the Yajurveda Mandir, the legatees of Sathya Sai Baba may only have prised open a pandora’s box.

Along with large quantities of gold, silver and cash, the Sathya Sai Central Trust reportedly found the Baba’s diary and will, the contentious contents of which are widening the rifts within the trust. One group in the trust says the will mandated that prominence be given to the Sai Baba’s long-standing caregiver Satyajit. Another group is denying that a will had been found at all.

The issue of Satyajit’s role in future was the focus of a two-day meeting of the trust on June 14 and 15. Reliable sources say senior trust member and former Supreme Court judge PN Bhagwati is all for prominence to Satyajit.

Sai Trust divided over Sathya Sai's will

When this was opposed some members, he felt hurt and volunteered to withdraw from the trust.

But he was pacified and persuaded to reconsider his decision.

All the same, some senior members are in a serious sulk. One of them is said to have stomped out of Puttaparthi on Friday night, miffed that Satyajit has not been given prominence.

Source say that one member, a Sai veteran of 35 years, was so put out by alleged spying on his office in Puttaparthi, that he would leave Prashanti Nilayam.

Given such rifts in the trust, chances are the governing body may be dissolved, or its aged members allowed to retire after putting in place a working system. But it is highly unlikely that any one person will be given complete control. “Trust members may each be given a specific activity or Seva programmes to handle. This will prevent power being concentrated in a single individual,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Sai diehards, however, say that “things are slowly settling down” in Puttaparthi.

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Anantapur: Will Satyajit Head Satya Sai Baba Trust?

Daijiworld Media Network—Anantapur Anantapur, Jun 17: From the time the doors of Sai Baba’s personal chamber were opened on Friday June 17 and Ratnakar confirmed that about Rs 12 crore in cash and 98 kg gold were found inside the chamber, the media has been awaiting news of the appointment of a new head of the Trust.Satyajit, who hails from the coastal city of Mangalore, was in the news for taking over the Satya Sai Central Trust after the demise of Satya Sai Baba.However, the trustees denied that there were any plans of appointing Satyajit as the head of the trust though he was regarded as being the closest to Sai Baba. Satyajit was the caretaker and a disciple of Godman.According to reliable sources from Puttparthy, three members of the Trust – former Supreme Court judge Justice Bhagavathi, S V Giri, and L Srinivasan  proposed that a prominent post be given to Satyajit which was opposed by R J Ratnakar, nephew of Satya Sai Baba and a member of the Trust.It is learnt that Ratnakar wanted the Trust to give no importance to Satyajit under any circumstances.Reportedly, Baba had written a will appointing Satyajit as his successor. But Ratnakar denied this, saying no such will was found in Sai Baba’s chamber.

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Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 4, 2011

In the Times of India article – ‘Sai Baba, my god, dictated my every single judgment’ – TNN | May 1, 2011, 03.22am IST – the former Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati, and now to be head of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, makes this extraordinary claim. He says:

“As a professional, each time I would sit down to write a judgment at 5 ‘o’clock in the morning, I was only writing what my god dictated. Bhagwan held my hand as I put pen to paper”

One wonders how the weighty pens of judges the world over can ever manage – so precariously unaided by such Direct Divine Penmanship as Bhagwati says he is aided –  to remain upright and without trembling …. 

One may like to pause, then – perhaps with the aid of a soothing Indian tea – just to take in the unexpectedness of all this.

A Strange Notion:  A Judge’s Own Guru Is Above The Law

One may also wonder what the case if other judges in India, who are enamoured of this or that guru, were to deem themselves in a mystic-golden-telephone-like contact with their Guru-God, and think that he or she is talking to them, guiding them, holding their pen, etc. 

And in India, there is a vast plethora of gurus to go around! Heaven help us, the number of divinely-wielded pens may also be more than a few.

And one may wonder, too, if other guru-affiliated judges would also, like Bhagwati, subscribe to the notion that their guru is in total charge of their legal judgements. What if their guru faced serious, well-made allegations?

In the case of Sathya Sai Baba, the allegations are extremely serious. They include implication in the cover up of several killings in his bedroom, worldwide allegations of wide-scale serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, scamming by his front office in regard to apartments, and other grave charges. In regard to the molestations, sworn testimony has been provided to major world media, UNESCO, police forces in the West (very privately, the latter will say in what great distrust many Indian police are held by international police who have the misfortune to have to deal with them). The interviewer says:

Inmates of the ashram, particularly young boys, have levied charges of sexual abuse against the godman.

Bhagwati (Agitated):  These are all baseless allegations. Bhagwan is a divine person, divinity personified. All these allegations come from interested quarters.

Learned legal counsel of several major organizations of high repute have the extensive evidence, and not Bhagwati at all. Therefore, Bhagwati is bare of evidence, and therefore barefaced.  He has not seen the sworn testimony that we have lodged with instrumentalities such as India Today, the BBC, Daily Telegraph (UK), Azul TV, Salon.com, police forces such as the FBI, and other instrumentalities such as UNESCO ….. See:  BBC Exposed Sai Baba Top Aide’s And Indian Foreign Minister’s Ploy With UNESCO.

Indeed, the BBC Assistant Producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville, told me that, under its own private efforts, the BBC was able to uncover still more compelling testimony about sexual abuse than that represented by the lists provided by international former devotee coordinators like Glen Meloy, Hari Sampath, Robert Priddy and myself. See my Obituary:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

How dare Bhagwati insult many decent families throughout the world! They have been shattered by the greatest betrayal of their lives, the actions of Sathya Sai Baba, to whom they were – many of the families for decades – hitherto utterly devoted! And in whose Sathya Sai Organization they did so much tireless, sacrificial service! These are the people whom Bhagwati’s close official colleague, Dr G. Venkatarman, too, has so badly and publicly defamed. See: Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

By what right does Bhagwati opine in such matters?  But of course, one may suppose, he claims Divine Right …..

Numerous mere mortals who do not agree with Bhagwati or his Divine-Penmanship-‘God’ have left the Sathya Sai Organization. They have been deemed, and in Orwellian fashion, to be non-persons now. Shunned, reviled, defamed. Some of these were, for decades outstanding leaders, a fact well-known by close longtime servitors on the Sathya Sai Central Trust and in the international Sathya Sai Organization, and more widely within the Sathya Sai fold.

For a minute part of the evidence for failure of accountability and transparency, and gross lack of duty of care, see:  Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips) and:  Bob Bozzani Big Donor To Guru Sai Baba Under Siege and: Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion and: A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4 and: Thorbjørn Meyer: Is Democracy Such A Good Idea?

Overnight, large numbers were now called (first by Sathya Sai Baba) “demons”, and “Judases”. Sai Baba said that they would not ever escape eternal hell.  See:  Sathya Sai Baba condemns his critics as “demons”

What has the divinely-guided Bhagati got to say about the undeniable fact that, very typically, these former devotees he defames are, and for long have been, respected members of their wider communities, professions, trades, places of learning, and so on.

But as to his guru: 

Bhagwati: (he) is  “divinity personified, he radiates joy …. What is the point of investigation?”

As the Times of India reports (see below), this is exactly what Bhagwati says, however difficult it may be for the rest of us to credit it.

Dear reader, how is that cup of Indian tea managing? Is it soothing enough?

P.N. Bhagwati, New Head of Sathya Sai Central Trust

Perhaps, many who have endured Bhagwati’s judgements over the years, and who regard the hand of Sathya Sai Baba as an alien one, and an injust one, may also like to pause for thought. And then to lodge formal complaint, and even sue Bhagwati.

India is, of course, a member of the Commonwealth of nations. And even one badly errant judge, a former Chief Justice at that, does not make life any better for his or her fellow judges who are in such a nexus.

But first, let me give my large number of readers the web address of:  The Commonwealth Lawyers Association. You may like the pleasure of sending them your opinion, questioning whether they think India has progressed as far as she should, if she cannot  provide better Justice role models.

In fact, Bhagwati makes several extraordinary claims. Thus, there is all the more reason for the world to know the sort of supposed seniormost Justice role model India got for herself in in the person of Bhagawati. Given that India is fast heading, along with China, towards superpower status, one might hope to see far better types among her legal superluminaries.

Will The Indian Government and Legal Profession Dare To Express Their Stance On Bhagwati?

International displeasure can be adverted to The Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and well beyond. And The CLA, for their part, may like to use the Bhagwati example as a cautionary tale for their members – perhaps especially for the young ones coming on, who are challenging the gerontocratic, elitist chambers of Indian and other justice systems that are in such sore need of reform. Cross-Commonwealth colleagial influence can, for example, in a number of ways, be brought to bear, without anyone meddling in the affairs of State. Even grave looks of displeasure and dismay, and refusal to felicitate, or accept invitations from ….. can carry a weight all of their own.

The Bhagwati cautionary tale benefits young and old. It warns of dangers that still face even 90 or so year old judges. My readers may like to ensure that Bhagwati’s comments, and informed criticisms of them, reach further afield than to the readers of the Times of India. Or even further than the readership of ‘Call For media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’, if that is at all imaginable.

India’s P.N. Bhagwati  Proclaims His Repute “as the foremost legal luminary across the Commonwealth”

One does not, after all, expect a judge to say that he or she is recognised as the finest legal brain in The Commonwealth. One tends to think:  Sober as a judge. Yet -:

Bhagati:  I have cultivated a reputation as the foremost legal luminary across the Commonwealth.

He also tells the interviewer:

I have never uttered a lie in my entire life.

Bhagwati In Ignorance of the Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Quarters

One does not expect a key member of an extraordinarily wealthy, religiously and politically powerful Trust to be so blissfully unaware of hard realities. For forty years, he has play an important role around Sathya Sai Baba. How can he expect to be believed when he says that he does not know what he was doing at the time of four killings in his founder’s bedroom?  That is to say – one who had, moreover, risen to the highest judicial role in the land. And who is a member of a professional class universally expected to have the best of memories.  And yet, when he is asked whether, at this time, he was in Mumbai meeting with Sathya Sai Central Trust members there, Bhagwati says:

“I cannot remember. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. I am not clear in my mind”.

Not clear in his mind?  One cannot help but think that the families and friends of those so bloodily killed in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom might wish indeed that Bhagwati had a much better memory, and wish that he WAS clear in his mind …. In fact, as sober as a judge.

About the killings, then, let Indian (or other) journalists ask Bhagwati whether he remembers meeting with the Union Home Minister at the time of the murders, S.B.Chavan. Let him answer whether the discussion was about damage control, and hushing matters up. How would his memory stand up here?

The killings and the cover up were, of course, a singular and terrible circumstance in Puttaparthi history. It was more than enough for some devotees – shaken, they left the Sathya Sai Organization.

So how could Bhagwati forget? Many others do not forget it. They cannot, yet profoundly wish that they could. Why is he so forgetful?

Does Bhagwati remember where he was when he first heard news of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi? Or that of President John F. Kennedy? Or when news came of the events of 9/11?  Presumably, he will remember where he was when news came through to him of Sathya Sai Baba’s death. Will he at all remember hearing the news, two days back, of the death Osama bin Laden? Most of the rest of us will never forget that.

Unless, of course, they were not sober as a good judge.

The Times of India interviewer says:

An attempt of was made on (Sai Baba’s) life a few years ago. Some ashram inmates were killed.

Bhagwati: I am not aware of this. I live in Delhi, so I have no knowledge.

The standard of Bhagwati’s extraordinariness does not lapse, as we see: 

Interviewer:   Several alleged offences committed by Sai Baba were never investigated.

Bhagwati:  What is the point of investigation? (Agitated) Bhagwan is divinity personified, he radiates joy; millions worship him. He is a teacher of mankind”

Should one pour another cup of soothing Indian tea?

 Bhagwati’s response is of a piece with that of his Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust colleague of many years, Indulal Shah. On 10 June 1993, The Hindu, reported:

“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.’”

Indulal Shah. Former head of Sathya Sai Organization

A mostly emasculate Indian media corps, afraid of their proprietors, can cower in the face of such cynical, antidemocratic non-answers. How demeaning for India, though,  that dereliction of democratic care has meant that foreign media has had to step in where India has vacated.  One of India’s great and courageous editors – V.K. Narasimhan – (whom I knew and loved and for one of his books I did some editing) was noble, and not a coward of this ilk.

The evidence of Bhagwati’s and Shah’s internals might not be well digested by those who care for Law, when it is wise and just. Lord Coke, Lord Chancellor under James I, is credited with the saying: ‘Be ye ever so high, the law is above you’. Apparently, Lord Denning, the great British judge, was fond of quoting this aphorism.

Has Bhagwati’s memory grown so poor that he forgets the great legal maxims, such as:  Hear the other side. Or: Hear the alternative party – Audi alteram partem. Or: audiatur et altera pars. Does he forget this principle? :  “Justice knows neither father nor mother; justice looks to the truth alone” – Justitia non novit patrem nec matrem; solum verrtatem spectat justitia”.

Yet Bhagwati’s very words abnegate these great precepts, which are prime ones in justice systems throughout the world.

Does The Commonwealth Law Association Approve Of The Influential Bhagwati’s Unorthodox Notions?

According to its website notice for 17th Commonwealth Law Conference, the CWL states that the alumni of The Commonwealth Lawyers Association include “some of the finest legal minds in the world today”. Why a return of the CWL Conference to India, after all these forty years? Perhaps it is because some lawyers other than Bhagwati are making the great effort to embody the time-honored, enshrined principles of democratic justice.

One wonders what measure of respect members of The Commonwealth Lawyers Association might accord, given his attitudes made plain just a couple of days ago, a former Chief Justice of India, now to be installed as chairman of one of the wealthiest of Trusts. Might they not think that one of their colleagues now presides over a medieval fiefdom?

Ironically enough, the CLA law conference was held in Hyderabad, the capital of the late Sathya Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh, South India in February 2011. But what might Bhagwati know of the conference? After all, he may have been in Delhi. Or Mumbai. Or any other place where not even the most dramatic news is likely to echo to his ears.

Will The Indian Media Begin To Do Its Job As Fifth Estate Citizens’ Guardian?

Let us see whether the Indian media will be tame or challenge Bhagwati’s views, and the views of those who think similarly. But, sadly, news critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult has been denied to Indian for many decades, with rare exceptions like India Today and Caravan. Ironically non-resident Indians have been able to read or view investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult in foreign media.

In India, the Sathya Sai Organization’s great wealth and political and religious clout hold sway. In dealing with the Canadian media, I know how one of the CanWest newspapers, because of a multi-millionaire Sai devotee’s threat to withdraw his large advertizing, interposed on their journalist, and significantly diluted his article, which former Sathya Sai followers (who are in excellent standing in their communities, professions, trades and places of learning) had gone to sacrificial effort to document. I was reliably informed that the newspaper and the Sai devotees’ lawyers were ensconced for hours. We also know of the attempts of top Sathya Sai Baba aides in to stop media from investigating media such as: the BBC, CBC, SBS, India Today, the Times of London, The Adelaide Advertiser, The West Australian, and also UNESCO.  Figures close to Sathya Sai Baba engaged in these attempts at censorship went very high on his VVIP list, e.g., Indian Air Chief Marshal N.C. Suri.

To say that he knows nothing of the killings is a dark stain on Bhagwati. To say that no investigations should take place, fortifies the Puttaparthi, local, state and central Indian government cover up. It is a scandal that is no secret to many Indian police, lawyers, journalists, politicians, government bureaucrats and others. It is one that shows India to the world, not as a ‘Shining India’ but as, all too glaringly, profoundly enmeshed in a corrupt, autocratic past from which she still cannot drag herself free.

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The Times of India Bhagwati Interview With Ex-Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati

‘Sai Baba, my god, dictated my every single judgment’

TNN | May 1, 2011, 03.22am IST

On Sathya Sai Baba: Indian Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati's Extraordinary Interview

FURTHER READING

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2011

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

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Still Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four.


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On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2011

Dame Justice - Impartial. Understood to Be Blind to Status, etc.

P.N. Bhagwati - "No Replacement For Baba"

In his interview just conducted by the Times of India (on which he has long been a director, by the way), Ex- Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati (see picture), about to head the late Sathya Sai Baba’s Central Trust, makes a number of comments which cannot but alienate him from present and former Commonwealth judges, and, indeed, judges, lawyers and citizens far beyond.

One may hope that no view will succeed which is of the sort that:  here is a very old man – entering his 90’s. Let him have his eccentricities about his God. What harm can Bhagwati do in his dotage? After all, he no longer presides over Indian Justice.

But Bhagwati was not in his dotage down all those years when, as he now tells us, Sathya Sai Baba has been holding the jurisprudential pen.

Let us remember, for one thing, that influence and mentorship of professionals – especially eminent ones – do not stop. Especially in a country like India, in which the elderly are venerated. One becomes aghast at the thought of how many younger judges and advocates in India see Bhagwati as a role model – not just in matters of precise legal craft – which may give no cause for alarm. But, rather, in the matter of interpretation of the legal job when passed through the distorting glass of a faith that says:  Sathya Sai Baba is the Lawyer of Lawyers.  And in a manner which gravely questions the professed secularity, as opposed e.g., to theocratic threats to democratic law, of Indian, Commonwealth, and, indeed, international law.

In this interview, among other points which cannot help but give concern in many quarters, Bhagwati has, without any shadow of a doubt, enunciated a principle so totally alien to a central tenet of justice in any of the democracies:  namely, that because he believes Sathya Sai Baba to be God, there should be no police or judicial investigation into allegations against Sai Baba. Bhagwati shows not a moment’s thought for what this view implies for any other judge – or, indeed, any other citizen – who may think that his or her version of God is the right one, and therefore omit to hold that ‘version’ to be free from any judicial or police procedure. The thought is truly appalling ….. and one almost blinks in astonishment. There is a corruption of justice at the very core of his pronouncement.

What say if the case was of a Chief Justice who thought that Rajneesh, or Muktananda or the (recent) Nityananda – or any other eminence ochre or saffron or of whatever dye was holding his or her pen in the writing of judgements?

At a number of points during the interview, Bhagwati weeps. Is he weeping for the Justice that he has traduced? Perhaps he is weeping for the loss on 24 April 2011, when his guru died. (After saying saying, over the years, that he, Avatar of All Avatars, come to save the world before he left it a the age of 96. And that he would be fit and healthy into his old age. And that he would not leave until the world had fallen at his feet – except for some last tidying-up to be done by his next incarnation, Prema Sai Baba). But then, why weep so much given Bhagwati’s statement that, all down the years, Sathya Sai Baba has been the mystic pen in Bhagwati’s hand, writing the judgements?

Bhagwati’s hand, that has been in the grip of Sathya Sai Baba’s hand all these years, is a very wavering hand now.

He says, for example, that for long, in writing his judgements, he has been receiving guidance from Sathya Sai Baba. The account he gives sounds very like automatic writing. If it was not, he needs to have been clear about what he means. Judges are meant to be clear, are they not?

Bhagwati also shows some disconcerting lapses (???) of memory. Above all, the parents and families of those slain meters away from where Sathya Sai Baba was hiding on the other side of a locked door of his appartment on the blood-filled night of 6 June will surely want a better effort of memory from Bhagwati, once the lychpin of Indian  Justice. A better effort of memory from a man who is now to head the Sathya Sai Central Trust, on which he has so long served as a key member. 

It  is a test of the maturity of Indian democracy and of its jurisprudence whether India continues to allow such forgetfulness.

Note:  The sort of questions that I would like to be asking Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati (ex-Justice, indeed!) are below, in blue highlight.

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Times of India Interview With Ex-Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati.

‘Sai Baba, my god, dictated my every single judgment’

TNN | May 1, 2011, 03.22am IST
(Note:  See Interview beneath the extracts on which I have commented)

In relation to his expected installation as head of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, Bhagwati says:

No one will oppose my name. I have cultivated a reputation as the foremost legal luminary across the Commonwealth.

Barry Pittard:  Judges throughout the world famously leave it up to others to assess their standing. Do you believe that any Commonwealth judge, other than yourself, has ever made a public statement in which he or she has asserted their own excellence?

As a professional, each time I would sit down to write a judgment at 5 ‘o’clock in the morning, I was only writing what my god dictated. Bhagwan held my hand as I put pen to paper.

BP’s Question: First, do you know any Commonwealth judges who have made a public statement which only too obviously is open to interpretation that they are engaged in automatic writing? Second, do you cognise that many Indian citizens who refer to many gods and goddesses, and others to none at all are entitled to concern that judgements which affect them are ‘written’, in effect, by your own version of ‘God’ with which they may have serious concerns?

Everything that I have achieved in respect of the law, and people say I have achieved a lot, is owing to the guidance and inspiration of Sathya Sai Baba. There is no doubt on that score.

BP:  Are democratic publics not entitled to expect of their judges – irrespective of their presence or absence of religious faith – the ability, under their own steam, to write excellent judgements?

An attempt was made on his life a few years ago. Some ashram inmates were killed.

I am not aware of this. I live in Delhi, so I have no knowledge.

BP: If you do not remember any salient facts of one of the two or three greatest crises to have faced the Trust on which you were, and have long since been, a prominent member, how can we rely on your memory when you tell us that you later say that you “have never told a lie in (your) entire life?

What is the total worth of the assets of the trust? Is it more than Rs 40,000 crore?

I do not know the present worth.

BP: You are in your 90’s now. Has it never occurred to you, prior to this, to check on such a salient matter?

Did you meet trust officials in Mumbai during this visit?

I cannot remember. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. I am not clear in my mind.

BP:  First, is not a pre-eminent, expected quality in judges, the world over, clarity of mind? Second, how could you possibly forget main circumstances relating the 6 June 1993 four police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, and two other slayings outside? Third, do you not diarise?

Inmates of the ashram, particularly young boys, have levied charges of sexual abuse against the godman.

(Agitated) These are all baseless allegations. Bhagwan is a divine person, divinity personified. All these allegations come from interested quarters.

BP:  Please, then, name those many individuals whose sworn testimony has convinced India Today, the BBC, and several other world standard investigative media, that a very serious prima facie case faced Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his leaders. You cannot? Of course you cannot. Learned legal counsel has them. They are often deeply gut-churning. Sometimes, they are, literally, tragic, since suicide has eventuated. At other times, one sees testimony to human courage.What is more, the BBC was able to discover still more testimony, which the assistant producer, David Saville, told me did not appear among our plethora of careful, worldwide documentation.

Major media and institutions such as UNESCO, Interpol, the FBI, and others have the documents. How do you dare to opine, Mr Bhagwati?

In that case, you have committed yourself to a statement that grievously lacks evidence, and, in doing so, you demean and defame the efforts of many aggrieved families around the world who have testified that Sathya Sai Baba engaged in very serious criminal abuses, including wide-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men.

Alarmingly, you do not state the irrefutable fact: that many who have made the allegations about Sathya Sai Baba’s abuses, and about his official organization’s wide-scale dereliction of duty of care, were, for years, dedicated and respected workers in the Sathya Sai Organization. And that these now former devotees are, very typically, respected members of their wider communities, professions, trades, places of learning, and so on.

Interviewer:  Several alleged offences committed by Sai Baba were never investigated.

What is the point of investigation? (Agitated) Bhagwan is divinity personified, he radiates joy; millions worship him. He is a teacher of mankind.

Most people in the world do not even know of him. Even if they did, in democratic societies, there is, as you know, but seem to have forgotten, the principal of Equality Before the Law – no matter a person’s finances, social status, or the political power. Why would you claim exemption for Sathya Sai Baba? Do you not remember the figure of Dame Justice Blindfold that prominently adorns Indian Court buildings.

Each, then, is fully entitled, in his or her own democratic jurisdiction, to make, or allow others to make, any untested assumption as to whether some alleged divinity or other notable figure is to be exempted from facing well-made charges. A judge is not permitted to do that. But you assert that it can be done, when you say: “What is the point of investigation?”

Your longtime close colleague, the past world head of the Sathya Sai Organization made to the Indian media a remark strikingly similar to your own when you said: “What is the point of investigation?” On 10 June 1993 The Hindu, reported:

“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.’”

Article 7 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Do you think, then, that justice systems in the Commonwealth, or countries like the USA, would sanction such statements as these which you and Indulal Shah have made? You will be widely condemned for them within and far beyond your own legal fraternity.

On Sathya Sai Baba: Indian Ex-Chief Justice Gives Eccentric Interview

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Indian Lawyers Challenge Sathya Sai Baba’s Central Trust On Secrecy and Foul Play

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 18, 2011

In the last days, there has fast emerged a major new turning point in the Sathya Sai saga. A climate is emerging in which Sathya Sai Baba devotee appointed lawyers are seriously looking at what their clients attest is the severe lack of accountability and the gross misconduct of leading elements of Puttparthi officialdom. 

See: Downturn In Sathya Sai Baba’s Condition (April 17th 2011) Posted by Barry Pittard on April 18, 2011 and Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011

These lawyers and their clients may pause to consider that networked former devotees have long spoken out about the extreme lack of accountability and duty of care in the international Sri Sathya Sai Organization. Indeed, some of these who have spoken up at great sacrifice to themselves and families were previously prominent leaders highly respected down the many years in which they served Sathya Sai Baba and his international organizationSee: The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

In the article:   Bob Bozzani Big Donor To Guru Sai Baba Under Siege Posted by Barry Pittard on March 2, 2007, I wrote:

Refusal to have proper mechanisms in place for the hearing of complaints has put the Sri Sathya Sai Organization light years behind today’s demand for accountability. On April 3, 2003, the then Australian head of the Sathya Sai Organisation of Australia, T. Sri Ramanathan, phoned me to threaten dire legal consequences (he was all bluff and bullying, of course) if I did not “cease and desist”.

I suggested that any organisation, including his, is wise to have a workable complaints mechanism, otherwise unaddressed grievances are bound to create problems. He said I was “clouding the issue” and that the only issue was “Swami’s glory”. There was no need, he said, for such a mechanism in the Sathya Sai Organisation, which is “special and different to any other organisation.” It was, he said, “a divine organisation”.

Perhaps the Indian Sathya Sai devotee lawyers will be astute enough to show any court or human rights tribunal that successive executive regimes at Puttaparthi (known as the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust) have constantly and characteristically ridden high, wide and far from handsome over genuine requests by devotees – and indeed the former devotees they for so many decades once honored and worked beside – for transparency and accountability.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

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Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 14, 2010

There is a question that keeps getting asked. It is one never answered by pro Sai interests – other than with a superficiality and ad hominem attacks resoundingly obvious to serious and probing investigators:

Given the grave seriousness of the allegations of serial sexual abuse of boys and young men from countries around the world, why have these matters not been dealt with through the Indian justice system? 

But – what Indian justice system?! 

Essentially, the answer is that Sathya Sai Baba is powerfully protected by Indian governmental corruption, irrespective of which political regime has the upper hand. His devotee base is vast. In 2001, the celebrated Indian advocate Kamini Jaiswal (who was a lawyer for the famous ‘Bandit Queen’ Phoolan Devi) attempted to mount, pro bono, a case against Sai Baba on behalf of a former Sai Baba devotee, Hari Sampath. apparently a former member of Sathya Sai Baba’s intelligence and security wing. They were thwarted in what lawyers, including eminent ones from different countries (their identities are available to bona fide investigators by writing me), have described by such terms as “a kangaroo court”. One used to democratic court proceedures can hardly believe, as one reads the lawyer’s notes in transcript, that judges could be so blatant. See, Record of Proceedings document of Hari Sampath’s 2001 case against Sai Baba in the Supreme Court of India, and further comments on this case scuppered by Judges G.B. Patnaik and R.C. Lahoti with the concurrence of then Chief Justice Dr A.S. Anand.

Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

Another example of the appallingness that can pass for Indian justice (often an oxymoron) is illustrated by the conduct of a Sai Baba devotee Judge,  Y. V. Anjaneyulu, in Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a judgement that contradicts India’s secular justice system and confounds our lawyer members in far more democratic countries than India who have seen the document. For this perversion of justice, see HERE.

Although one must pay tribute to those in the Indian police and legal systems who strive against great odds to do an honest job, one fact has to be faced squarely: there is terrible and extensive corruption in the Indian justice system. With great superficiality and intellectual dishonesty, Pro Sai forces, such as Gerald Joe Moreno, like to attack those of us who point out this internationally-known fact, and they speak, of “India bashing”. It is nothing of the sort. Indian commentators have long and widely lamented the profound corruption of Indian institutions. In a delightful and well-written piece, at the LEGAL RESOURCE CENTRE INDIA, “India’s top 10 lawyers”, Dhananjay Mahaputra (in Times of India Crest Edition Saturday 9 January 2010) writes of K. Paransaran, whom he describes as “the grand old man of India’s court royalty” as one who:  “believes the Bar is no longer as ethical as it once was. He is sad that the image of the higher judiciary has been tarnished with so many allegations of corruption”. Paransaran reflects: “What can I do, but offer my prayers?'”.

A legal course of action initiated in the United states failed to get off the ground because of a legal loophole, in which the Sai Baba group portrayed their entity as being a bookshop. There was no trial, contrary to what has been said by pro Sai interests who are very careless with the facts, and gravely misrepresented by Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s deputy world head.  

Anyone who wishes to undertake litigation has both to ask themselves what are their financial resources and what are their emotional resources. They also need to establish whether they can hire a lawfirm not noted to employ advocates who can be outsmarted both before and during a trial.

Here are some resources:    ‘Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family’: http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/ex-baba/engels/articles/alayarahm.htm .   ‘Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements:  http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/6/alaya.htm   ‘On Alaya Rahm’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba’:  http://www.saibabaexpose.com/PremRahm.htm . Dr G. Venkataraman is extensively refuted in a four-part article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard:  ‘The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ – Part One Two Three Four

For Al Rahm’s remarkably decent, self-restrained and detailed reply to a notorious antagonist Gerald Joe Moreno, Sathya Sai Baba’s principal defense on the internet, see: Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno 

General  

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members

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Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

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Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »