Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Indian legal system’

Young Male Sex Abuse: Legal ‘Locomotive’ Hurtles Towards Sai Baba’s Accomplices

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Important Breakthrough!

Litigation against the Sathya Sai Baba forces of serial sexual and other criminal abuses is now powerfully on the move. World class law firms are being consulted. Millions of dollars are on call for this fight on behalf of one of history’s profoundly righteous causes.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Those who wish to litigate or in other ways support legal actions against those who supported the years of homosexual abuse of boys and young men, and other abuses, can, with assurance of strict confidentiality contact my close and trusted colleague Robert Priddy:  rero@getmail.no or myself, Barry Pittard at: bpittard@westnet.com.au or Jay Narain (former Sathya Sai student) client of Hunt and Hunt law firm (see below) at:  jnarain05@hotmail.com

Litigation against the Sathya Sai Baba cult is aimed at holding accountable  Sathya Sai officials and other enablers complicit in permitting and covering up his, and others’, wide-scale, serial sexual and other criminal abuses.

Thus, our Sathya Sai Baba cult exposure now moves into a whole new phase. An impressive array of former Sathya Sai Baba alumni and others stand ready to use formidable wealth to show India and the world that corruptors of the young can, and must be, unmasked.

Former Sai Baba devotees have fought, in the two decades, a gruelling, uphill, international campaign. They expect, soon enough, resounding vindication. From the moment ex-devotees spoke out truthfully – which was, and is, their habit – Sai Baba branded them “demons”, and “Judases”, saying that they were condemned forever and beyond salvation.

‘By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them’

Sai Baba devotees have an appalling record for their maltreatment of former devotees. They have repeatedly vilified, shunned, made apostates out to be liars and fools, cruelly libelled them on the internet, and threatened with law suits and criminal proceedings.

T. Sri Ramanathan, Kulwant Rai, et alia

One of these attempts to cower us was the unconscionable bluff by top Sathya Sai Organization leader T. Sri Ramanathan. As well-informed Sai Baba devotees in Australia know too well, he is accounted – more particularly behind hands and doors in whispers – an authoritarian bully within the Australian Sathya Sai Organization itself, which he led for several years. The devotees, all too lamb-like, would say e.g., “Rama is simply Baba’s test for our sadhana; Swami knows all our karmas”.  See: Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With The Law 

Likewise appearing to think that we were panicky lambs, the Sathya Sai Baba supporter Kulwant Rai, one of India’s wealthiest moguls, and scion of the Rai family, various of whom are Sathya Sai Baba devotees, threatened us via his lawyers.

With scarcely a penny in our pockets – at that time! – our forces welcomed them to proceed. We wanted the facts to come out. Our course was, and is, entirely just. We had nothing to hide, but they did, so they threatened like bovver boys.

They – having too much to hide – went away. More’s the pity.

Typically, Sathya Sai devotees – who forever harp on Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Prema and Non-violence – acquiesced with their centre, zone, national and Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization in a glacial wall of silence.  Former devotees were now, in effect, non-persons.

So much for all the bright, beamy ‘Sai Ram’ nomenclature such as:  “Sai brothers and sisters”, and Sai Baba’s catch cry of “Love all, Serve all”!

One Day, Outraged Boys Become Enraged Men – And, Formidably, Sue!

Many who, when boys, came to grief at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba and various of his key servitors – including notable Sai Baba teaching Staff who have betrayed their duty of care as teachers – now increasingly gather support for very powerful legal action.

The members of the group make firm pledges to ensure that Indian citizens, and the world, are satisfied that the malefactors complicit with Sathya Sai Baba, and, in some cases, actually homosexual abusers of boys and young men themselves and offenders in other areas, are made accountable.

Many victims were students in Sathya Sai Baba’s education establishments, and are from a number of countries. In the aftermath of their bitter experiences – which included the betrayal of their parents, guardians and significant others who thought Sathya Sai Baba and his teachers were trustworthy – they have succeeded as responsible, upright citizens in a veritable array of businesses and professions. Some have attained awesome wealth and notability, which they wish to see put to the service of righteousness – or dharma, as some of them who are heirs of Eastern spiritual and cultural backgrounds term it.

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Note from the website of Hunt and Hunt, a top Australian law firm which has an extensive international reach, and just one of the law firms being consulted:

“Many of our practitioners are regarded as thought leaders in their field. They are often asked to provide media commentary on various industry developments and legal issues.

Finance Monthly Law Awards 2011

fi_monthly_award

Hunt & Hunt is the winner in the category of International Trade Law Firm of the Year, Australia for the Finance Monthly Law Awards 2011

Hunt & Hunt is the winner in the category of International Trade Law Firm of the Year, Australia for the Finance Monthly Law Awards 2011

Established in 1929, Hunt & Hunt is a leading Australian law firm, with offices in Sydney (City and North West), Melbourne and Adelaide.

Hunt and Hunt’s strength and reputation are in three core areas – Commercial, Insurance and Property – and over the years has gained clusters of clients across a number of key sectors. These include financial services, transport, manufacturing, government, health, IR, education and property”.

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Further Reading

Towards Accountability Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Accomplices: A Call To Legal Action

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

For Those Connected With Sathya Sai Education Institutions: A Reckoning Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Towards Accountability Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Accomplices: A Call To Legal Action

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

 A formidable legal challenge is being mounted against those who aided and abetted Sathya Sai Baba in what many say are heinous and immoral acts against boys and young men, what to mention other abuses.

Among those connected with this legal action, which is very well-funded indeed, are those with compelling accounts of sexual and other forms of grave abuse of boys and young men at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba.

Furthermore, the litigants attest that others close to Sai Baba also perpetrated immoral acts in what became a serial and manipulative culture of homosexual abuse. This evil harmed the lives of large numbers of boys and young men from India and other countries around the world.

Among the accused are teaching staff – those very persons to whom parents and guardians entrust the most precious beings in their lives – their beautiful children.

A succession of local, state and central Indian governments cannot escape the shame of their complicitous roles in covering up the crimes and spiritual and ethical betrayals of Sathya Sai Baba and many of his key servitors. Nor will the present government of longtime Sai Baba supporter Manmohan Singh, which has lately faced major charges of corruption, escape the ambit of such terrible complicities. There exist proper records – to be placed in the hands of legal representatives – which show a whole trail of side-stepping by Indian governments, all the way to the top, who were blind and deaf to worldwide concern (including from UNESCO and the private diplomacy of the US State Department and several other governments).

We urgently invite all those who have been, or are, connected with Sathya Sai education sectors – e.g., parents, students, teachers, ancilliary staff and all others who may have salient information they are willing to provide to contact my close and trusted colleague Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, and retired academic of the University of Oslo (Read also this refutation of the alleged ‘exposure’ of Priddy at Robert Priddy Not Exposed ) or myself, Barry Pittard, former lecturer in all three year levels of the Bachelor’s degree course at the Sathya Sai College, Brindavan (1978-9).

We undertake that such communications will be conducted UNDER CONDITIONS OF THE STRICTEST CONFIDENTIALITY .

You can contact us very briefly by email so that – if felt necessary – a totally secure contact can be agreed, such as using direct messaging, Skype, or telephone or any other method that secures optimal privacy.

We guarantee that nothing told to us will be made public in any way without your full agreement. We will explain preparations already underway by a team of top lawyers in India and abroad, and the possible options (justice, compensation, avenues for healing, etc) it can offer to each person who contacts us according to the information they may then be willing to confide in the team.

For Robert Priddy’s, Jay Narain’s and my contact details, see them at the foot of the just posted, detailed article: 

For Those Connected With Sathya Sai Education Institutions: A Reckoning Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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For Those Connected With Sathya Sai Education Institutions: A Reckoning Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

From Barry Pittard, Australia, former lecturer (1978-79) at the Sathya Sai College, Brindavan, Whitefield via Bangalore


My words here I especially address to my former students, and others in Sai education institutions, formerly and currently -:

Some of those whom Sathya Sai Baba and his aides betrayed are taking new steps. Sai Baba is dead, but those complicit in his many and terrible abuses are still alive.

Many of you know that Sathya Sai Baba, sexually molested many boys and young men, faked materializations, made failed promises of cure from grave illnesses, made prophecies that have not come true, collected incredibly vast moneys and valuables, and many other wrongful acts.

Many of you realise that his deeds profoundly contradicted his words, and that setting himself up with an imperial splendour continues to bring India into terrible disrepute around the world.

Apart from his betrayal, you were badly let down by those very teachers, who failed to display that duty of care expected of all professionals and all adults who have young in their charge. He betrayed you; they betrayed you. The Sathya Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization betrayed your trust and that of a great many others.

Those of you who tried to reach out to parents, friends or leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization often met with incomprehension, anger, threats and rejection. There is a lot of healing to be done, which will not be achieved until the light of truth is shone into the dark places of deception.

From direct, highly confidential contact with former students, those such as Robert Priddy (former head of the Sathya Sai Organization of Norway and retired academic at the University of Oslo and I (formerly a lecturer at the Brindavan College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India) know that so-called ‘form boys’ were often molested sexually in Sathya Sai education institutions. They were given sham reasons for the sexual molestations, like healing, spiritual awakening, divine love on a mystical, transcendental plane, and so on. 

Soon, I shall write separately regarding others beyond your Sai institutions, suggesting what steps are now opening up for redress.

It has long been heavy in my heart (although I did not then know of their plight) that my own, much-beloved students at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore were being sacrificed to the hands of a predator. I say to them and to other victims: Your age and tender experience made you vulnerable to him and to his calculated lies, and you were virtually under his (and others’) power at Sai places of learning. It hurt you all the more that, in many cases, your parents were devotees who would not hear a word against Sai Baba, or those teachers complicit with him, even from their own sons.

In some cases, Sai Baba had given ashram apartments and other privileges to family and relatives or more widely in India or abroad. Our contacts say that this was a key factor in making some boys remain silent about what was happening to them or their friends there.

You too may have heard of deeply disturbing accounts of suicides, and of cases where ‘form boys’ and others have been sent out in disgrace. It is also my understanding that a Sai college colleague of mine, and who boys liked and respected, who did speak out was cast out, because he spoke forth, wanting to protect the boys. Trustfully his good repute can now be redeemed. I wish to see, as part of the work of our newly strengthened group, that honorable persons who attempted to address these matters will be, at last, vindicated. Those who did not heed them, and who threatened, reviled and shunned them owe them profound apologies.

But some situations are so criminal that apologies will not do, and due restitution needs to be exacted in no uncertain terms.

You would, surely, never wish that your own children be prey to immoral behaviour in a college in which founder and staff permit students to be used for sexual gratification. Now that Sai Baba is gone, many of you who are still left with a terrible dilemma. Today, you have family and significant others who fully expect your own children to join his schools, colleges and university. With all my heart, I urge you to stand up to the voices that would keep you in pain and silence. While you yourself know that Sai Baba was not the only sexual abuser in his education institutions, those around represent a considerable pressure to send your children to these places. You are now an adult, and the same extenuating circumstances which you faced when young and vulnerable cannot now be offered. You can make choices, and be either resolute or weak.

Duty of care is practised by millions of parents, guardians, teachers and others throughout the world. But it was not practised by the one who told you he was God. Quite a few of you will recall how Sai Baba told you that you had been his dear consorts when he came as Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, or Shirdi Sai Baba. But the late Glen Meloy (USA), who had been an honored, dedicated Sai Baba devotee for 26 years, and who, until he died in 2005, was my close collaborator in the exposure of Sai cult corruption wrote: “The God in my heart does NOT molest little children and does NOT sexually abuse ANYONE regardless of their gender or age… nor does he/she masquerade as a magician in a cloak of goodness while committing other acts of evil”. See: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

These heinous betrayals of trust are not forgotten. True, now that he is dead, Sathya Sai Baba cannot further be pursued in person. However, he had many enablers. They are alive today, and have much to answer and to atone for. They represent at least four generations.

But there are those who are determined, able and willing to pursue these unconscienable miscreants by all the means civil society provides. We are aware that in India the law has been totally waylaid by Sai devotee judges for many years, and with the backing of successive national, state and local Indian governments to the highest levels. This state of affairs will not last and it is already changing in favour of those whose relatives, and in some cases themselves, have been abused. They are ready to exert their considerable powers to pursue justice.

Many have tried to forget the deep wounds of heart and mind that they bear, which they tell us has often been extremely hard for them. Others have come away who appear less affected because individuals differ greatly in how they deal with the consequences, including the emotions like guilt, shame, anger and hate aroused by such abuses.  Perverted sexuality and other forms of grave abuse do regularly cause long-lasting and often deep ongoing disturbance. Relationships between partners and parents and children are at risk.

Frequently, abused and traumatized persons forcibly thrust out of mind the unwelcome, painful memories. These undealt-with issues often lead to a slew of physiological and psychological sypmptoms. Terrible secrets undermine and corrode. And wounds only heal when they are cleaned.

Among victims with whom we have been privately in touch over the last two decades are dignified, productive and confident survivors. Some of them are readying to speak out in clear terms. There are affidavits and pledges from honourable persons from several countries, including those who attended Sathya Sai education institutions.

Still others are willing to assist in the background. Some fear that they cannot speak out without endangering themselves or their families. Some see relocation to other more democratic countries as a means to speak out, and also to pursue their own healing. Some are already non-resident Indians.

The burden of having to remain silent has been very heavy, we know. That some persons feel they have had some success in ‘moving on’ does not alter their acute sense of wrongness in not having spoken out or to have supported those who have.  

But then, it is silence that allows abusers to thrive. Without plenty of survivors and their advocates strongly grouping to prosecute those who abuse and those who aid and abet the abusers, whole communities and societies are endangered. Voices crying in the wilderness are defamed, libelled and made to appear liars and fools. This situation is now beginning to be addressed by an influx of new exposé activists who are already organising the documentation and collation of materials with the support of ex-students and others whom Sai Baba and others in his education sector have abused.

It is intended that these actions of ours be decisive, professional, and ongoing. Unlike some who fail to see the necessary connection between spirituality and civil action, we see as entirely proper the use of both criminal and civil courts to protect the innocent.

Many survivors of the crimes of Sai Baba and his aiders and abettors have spent years of getting together their families, trades and professions. But those such as (the late Glen Meloy (q.v.), Alexandra Nagel, Hari Sampath, Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Conny Larsson, myself (and former Sai devotees worldwide in the background) have made a mission constantly to remind that justice has not yet been done in the face of Sai Baba’s and his cult’s great iniquities.

Some of you who are current and former teachers and students know that, since circa 2000, the speaking-out by former devotees has troubled the abusers. Those of you who were close to Sai Baba knew, after our formal movement of exposure revealed him to an international audience, of his fits of anger, weeping, and ongoing decline of mental and physical health, and of his cowardly, unsubstantiated and vague denunciations against those who have spoken forth. Some of you will know that Sai centers in different parts of the world have almost emptied of membership, because of the known integrity of some families or individuals who addressed, rather than hid from, the allegations of sexual molestation and other abuses by Sai Baba or his close accomplices.

The powerful challenge to those who have brought your places of learning into terrible disrepute will unfold in due course. And the international public will come to know of this shortly. Quite apart from our former devotee network’s history of extensive and highly successful contact with leading world media and high echelons of government – some of our dissenting forces bent on revealing the truth have wrested a number of successes that have not been made public. These were achievable under circumstances which, hopefully, we will be free to reveal after due processes have been implemented.

In analagous areas, I commend this as a good time to look at the success of the Turley law firm, among others, in winning a large settlement against ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in a huge sexual abuse case which won international attention. There is a statement of an ISKON leader which I find quite moving. See: http://www.pratyatosa.com/?P=14.

Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church, which has long been plagued by sex abuse scandals, has accepted responsibility. Its senior clergy is now informing the police, paying compensation, protecting children and helping in the prosecution of those who covered up these scandals. Increasingly, there are those who say that the Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization should be made to do the same.

In these other pursuits of justice, student, parent, teacher and friendship networking has played a signal part  powerful in bringing the predators and bullies to their knees. My key point is that you, too, can play an important role in an historic watershed challenge to the forces of corruption that have held you in thrall. My assurance to you is that Indian citizens, non-resident Indians and non-Indians from several other countries are massing forces.

Confidential enquiries can be addressed-:

To me: bpittard@westnet.com.au

Robert Priddy: rero@getmail.no

Or to our colleague: Jay Narain, who is coordinating a major litigation lawsuit against Sai Baba’s officials and others deemed to be complicit in many and serious abuses: Jnarain05@hotmail.com. In the 80’s, Jay was a student at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, and I have long ago had contact with his close family members, among whom there have been other attendees at a Sathya Sai Baba institution.

The law firm handling this lawsuit, which already has many outstanding members, which others are welcome to join is: Hunt and Hunt – http://www.hunthunt.com.au/expertise/international-group/

Barry Pittard, Australia. (Former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, outside Bangalore, Karnataka, South India).

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

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

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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

———————————————————

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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Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise To “Clean Up” His “Own Back Yard (India) Unfulfilled

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2009

India is trying to get the world to take her seriously.  But this wish cannot be fulfilled (except superficially and cynically) when so many within India’s elites fling themselves – quite literally – at the feet of highly questionable gurus and astrologers.

It is well-known that many diplomats and those who do business with India hide their contempt behind obligatory and well-trained polite smiles.

India – Venal or Shining?

That endemic venality in India is only very partially portrayed in the Indian press reflects poorly on the integrity of many media owners, editors and journalists.

That there is widespread corruption in her legal system blights her as a democracy.  See:

P.N. Bhagwati, India’s Ex-Chief Justice: Wild, Reckless Claims

P.N. Bhagwati. Ex-Chief Justic of India. S.Sai Baba Central Trust Man

P.N. Bhagwati. Ex-Chief Justice of India. Longtime Sathya Sai Central Trust Man.

Inequality before the law in India

Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall Case Vs Sai Baba

In the latter article, I wrote:

“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”.

Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

Note:  As we can show testimony to bona fide media or other investigators, a legal professional has transcribed the case, and part of this shocking reflection on Indian judiciary may be viewed – 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. For an example how a Sai Baba devotee Judge,  Y. V. Anjaneyulu, in Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh can – in a judgement that contradicts India’s secular justice system and confounds our lawyer members in more democratic countries who have seen the document  –  pervert the course of justice see HERE.

Sathya Sai Baba – The Secret Swami

In the case of Sathya Sai Baba, the dismal facts – denied of course by his promoters, both among the naively uninformed and by those of his servitors who know all too well of the many cover ups and abuses – became widely known, especially after the documentary by the BBC documentary “The Secret Swami” (2004) was screened throughout the world – indeed in Canada three times in one month.  See:

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

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

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

For viewing:

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv

(21 MB, Modem)

A Few Signs of Challenge To Corruption

However, and in very recent times, there has been a slow but gradual move for the media in India to take on issues relating, for example, to corrupt and backward-looking gurus. See articles:

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

CNN-IBN Reports Action On Corrupt Indian Gurus

Supercool Indian Gurus Under Fire

Further Reading

Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

Quote:

“In his February 16, 2007 so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” But will he? How can he?


The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime”.

Will India’s New Backlash Against Corruption Lash Sathya Sai Baba?

Quote:

“To be sure, Sathya Sai Baba, profoundly protected by India’s power brokers irrespective of what party is in power, has not faced court to answer many allegations. These include serial sexual molestation of boys and young men and other crimes such as complicity in the police killings that occurred in his bedroom, June 6, 1993. The latter incident was described to the BBC by V.P.B. Nair, former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, as “absolute cold-blooded murder”. Brief video clips at this link here.

The BBC transcript of ‘The Secret Swami’ is available here.

Police corruption is also widespread in India, as the recent horrendous case of serial pedophilia and murders in Noida, Delhi, exemplifies.

Jaiswal’s reason for applying for the case to be pled in the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi was precisely for the reason that Andhra Pradesh, Sai Baba’s state, is chockful of Sai Baba police and judges. Therefore, Judges Paitnaik’s and Lahoti’s repeated statements (see link below): “Go the Andhra Pradesh court”, and refusals to give reason for their adverse decision are reprehensible”.

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