The Bombay High Court rapped the Pune Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) over what it termed “unsatisfactory” progress report on the steps taken to ascertain the veracity of spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh’s will as well as its “inability” to retrieve the original will and other related documents from Spain.
A bench of Justices RM Savant and Revati Mohite-Dere observed that the EOW had failed to take any concrete steps since the last hearing, in April this year, to either procure the original will, or, to ascertain whether the signatures of Osho Rajneesh on such a will and its copies were genuine.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by one of Rajneesh’s disciples, Yogesh Thakkar.
Thakkar has alleged that the will, that surfaced 23 years after Osho’s death, was fake.
The court also directed the EOW to send the copy of the said will to a reputed Forensics Lab or handwriting experts to ascertain whether the signature on the will was Rajneesh’s or, had it had been forged as alleged by the petitioner.
Thakkar’s lawyer, senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, told the bench that he had sent a copy of the said will to a government approved Forensics Lab in Delhi.
The lab had verified the signature on this document, reported to be that of Rajneesh, and ruled that the said signature was forged.
The bench directed the EOW to also take into consideration the Delhi Lab report and file a new, updated progress report before the court in two weeks.
“We are not satisfied with your report. You take into consideration this Delhi report and also ascertain through some expert agencies whether this signature is genuine or not. File a detailed progress report telling us all that you have achieved in the case on a day to day basis,” the bench said.
In his plea, Thakker has claimed that trustees of the Switzerland-based Osho International Foundation had forged Rajneesh’s signatures on a fake will to transfer his intellectual property rights in the foundation’s name.
He had lodged a first information report with the Koregaon Park police in Pune in December 2013.
The police had subsequently transferred the probe to its EOW.
On previous hearings, the court had directed the EOW to obtain a copy of Osho’s original will which, according to the petitioner, had once been submitted in a court in Spain.
The EOW has maintained that, in all probability, that original will has been destroyed.