Jagadguru kripalu ji maharaj
a sport to hold responsible anyone of Rape?
Trinidad court grants temporary reprieve to Kripaluji Maharaj
An Indian religious leader, charged with rape in Trinidad, got a temporary reprieve when a court here returned his Indian passport and allowed him to continue with his world tour.
A court here ruled that the passport of 85-year-old Swami Kripaluji Maharaj be returned to him and he be allowed to leave on June 16 to continue his world tour.
Deputy chief magistrate Mark Wellington said Friday he would take 'a big risk' and return Maharaj's passport, but denied a request by the state to increase the $8,000 to ensure his return here to continue his trial July 16.
His order came following a very emotional request by Prakash Ramadhar, one of Trinidad & Tobago's top criminal attorneys.
Swami Maharaj was charged with rape and indecent assault of a 22-year-old Guyanese woman following an alleged incident in a room at the home of a San Fernando businessman, where he was staying since his arrival here May 15.
In his plea, Ramadhar said that over $500,000 had been spent in Canada and Europe in anticipation of the Swami's visit.
Ramadhar told the court that Swami Maharaj was to conduct a 32-day prayer and meditation service in Canada later this month and thousands of people had booked their flights to attend the event. He also produced photos of the swami's temple in Austin, Texas and a hospital he built in India.
Ramadhar informed the court that because of the swami's deep religious commitment, he had a worldwide audience and appeared on two satellite television channels.
Swami Maharaj's arrest and subsequent appearance in court caused great consternation in the Hindu community, mostly people of Indian origin, in this Caribbean nation.
Indian religious missionaries have been coming to Trinidad and Tobago with greater frequencies in recent years.
There are around 520,000
Indian origin people in Trinidad & Tobago, most of them descendants
of Indians who had come here in the 19th and early 20th centuries to work
as indentured labour in sugarcane plantations.
Accusations on Kripalu Maharaj
ji for rape
Meanwhile, a Trinadad court has granted him bail in the case. He has, however, been barred form leaving the country for the time being and his passport has been confiscated.
The accusations against the 85-yr old guru have been made by a 22-yr old disciple of his from Guyana. The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing in the court on May 29.
The incident, however, has deeply hurt the Indian community in the country. Trinidad has over 40% Indians, out of which around 25% are staunch Hindus.
Kripalu Ji Maharaj has been in Trinidad
since May 17.
Setting up an ashram near this city in central India in 1984, Kripalu Maharaj, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, attracted considerable following in the region. All was hunky dory for the swami until an elderly man filed a complaint against him in 1991 that Maharaj had kidnapped his two major daughters.
Following the complaint, the police came to know of at least two earlier cases of rape in which complaints were not registered, public prosecutor Prashant Sathiyanathan recalls.
The police filed a common first information report (FIR) against the swami putting together all four cases of kidnapping and rape allegedly committed over a period from 1985-91, Sathiyanathan told IANS.
The swami contested the charges, first in the high court and then in the Supreme Court, which asked the police to file a separate FIR for each case in the lower court.
The two major sisters, meanwhile, stated in the court that they stayed and had sex with the swami regularly of their own volition, that he was the incarnation of Lord Krishna and that they were his disciples.
Even as another case of rape on a minor girl was filed against the swami, the two disciple sisters quietly retreated from the ashram and, it was reported subsequently that they were happily married.
The 12-year old girl, whose father had complained of unnatural sex and rape on his daughter, too testified in the court that the swami had sex with her every time her parents took her to him.
The court wondered how a minor girl could go to a man again and again if he had sex with her and how come it didn't hurt. The medical reports too went in favour of the swami, who was acquitted of all the charges.
The high court, before which the prosecution has preferred an appeal against the acquittal in 2005, had the swami deposit his passport, restraining him from leaving the country.
Later however, the court allowed the swami's application seeking permission to go abroad citing ill-health. The case awaits final hearing for which the date is yet to be fixed, Sathiyanathan said.
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