Failed Legal Maneuvers Against Sathya Sai Baba: PART ONE

Failed Legal Maneuvers Against Sathya Sai Baba: PART ONE

Hari Sampath’s Failed Supreme Court Writ Petition Against Sathya Sai Baba

SaiSathyaSai.com’s Original Statement:
On this saisathyasai.com website, I (Joe Moreno) made the following statement of fact, which no Anti-Sai Activist can refute with verifiable information or documentation:

“Sathya Sai Baba has never had even one single complaint lodged against him by any alleged victim, first-hand, in India. As a matter of fact, not even one alleged victim has even tried to file a basic police complaint or court case against Sathya Sai Baba in India (the only place where courts would have jurisdiction over Baba as an individual defendant).”

Barry Pittard claimed on his defamatory Anti-Sai WordPress blog (without specifically naming me) that my original statement is incorrect. It is apparent that Barry Pittard obviously has difficulty understanding my original statement and confused court case attempts with actual court cases. Although questionable court cases have been attempted against Sathya Sai Baba, he never had to obtain a lawyer to defend himself because the court cases never made it to trail because they were rejected by Judges who saw through their obvious fraudulence. To Date: Sathya Sai Baba has never (ever) been formally charged with any crime (sexual or otherwise) in a court of law in India. This is an indisputable statement of fact and I suggest Barry Pittard stop confusing himself and others by failing to differentiate between attempts to file a court case with an actual court case with lawyers representing a plaintiff and defendant. Furthermore, Barry Pittard’s citations of court case attempts were never filed (first-hand) in India by alleged victims.


Beginnings: Hari Sampath’s CBI Investigation Request Via Mail:
Hari Sampath (an alleged ex-devotee who was never sexually abused) wrote a letter to the CBI in India attempting to get them to act against Sathya Sai Baba (although he and all of the alleged victims were half-way around the world). The CBI does not investigate conventional crimes without the direction of the Supreme Court, a High Court or State Governments in India. On the official CBI website, the following statements are made:

“As a matter of policy the CBI does not entertain anonymous / pseudonymous complaints. The CBI does not take up investigation of conventional crimes like murder, theft, robbery etc unless directed by the Supreme Court / High Courts or referred by State Governments. This is because ‘police’ is a State subject under the Indian Constitution and the basic jurisdiction to investigate crimes is that of State police. The CBI’s power to investigate cases is derived from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. The CBI can investigate the offences notified under this Act in the Union Territories and with the consent of State Governments, in the States. Besides, since the CBI is a small force, administratively also it has not been considered expedient for the CBI to investigate the conventional crimes unless directed by the Supreme Court/High Courts or referred by State Governments.” (Reference)

Consequently, Hari Sampath’s letter to the CBI was totally useless as he did not follow the process of law in relation to CBI complaints. Hari Sampath attempted to circumvent the Supreme Court, the High Courts and the State Governments in India with a complaint letter mailed from the USA (although he was not a victim) and actually expected the CBI to launch a full scale inquiry against Sai Baba.

After getting nowhere with the CBI, Hari Sampath somehow obtained the long-distance representation of three lawyers in India (Kamini Jaiswal, Prashant Kumar and Gaurav Agarwal) who filed a writ petition with the Supreme Court Of India on his behalf as an apparent (and failed) publicity stunt against Sathya Sai Baba. It is important to note that Hari Sampath was not present in India during the hearing of the writ petition. He was in the USA and the writ petition was filed based on an affidavit he submitted under his name.

Proof That Hari Sampath’s Supreme Court Petition Was Rejected:
The following scan is Hari Sampath’s failed writ petition with the Supreme Court Of India:

Hari Sampaths Failed Petition

Hari Sampaths Failed Petition

Important Facts About The Petition Scan:

  • Sathya Sai Baba’s name does not appear anywhere on the writ petition.
  • Although Hari Sampath was the sole Petitioner, he was never sexually abused or an alleged victim of Sathya Sai Baba.
  • Although Hari Sampath was the sole Petitioner, he was not present in India during the hearing of the writ petition. He was in the USA and was being given updates by the lawyers over the phone.
  • Hari Sampath alleged he was attempting to represent alleged victims (via an affidavit) who (like him) were not in India. It is absurd to think that this writ petition had any legitimacy. Since when is any court case sought by a non-victim attempting to act on behalf of alleged victims (none of whom were in India and none of whom filed a writ petition first-hand)? It is clear that the writ petition was a publicity stunt. Unfortunately for Hari Sampath, it blew up in his face.
  • No lawyers were presented on behalf of Sathya Sai Baba because this case was not an official court case. It was a writ petition for a preliminary hearing.
  • Justice G. B. Pattanaik and Justice R. C. Lahoti heard the petition. Neither of these Justices have ever been shown to be Sai Devotees, as erroneously claimed by Anti-Sai Activists.
  • The writ petition was rejected and the Record of Proceedings clearly stated:
    • “Upon hearing counsel the Court made the following ORDER: We are not inclined to entertain this petition under article 32 of the Constitution of India. It is accordingly dismissed. The petitioner may approach the appropriate forum.”
  • Instead of approaching the appropriate forum (the High Court in Andhra Pradesh), the case was dropped by all three lawyers with no further action.

This writ petition (which was not an official court case) is what Barry Pittard cited as an actual court case made against Sathya Sai Baba (a complete distortion of facts that amounts to nothing less than prevarication).

Hari Sampath’s Spin & Propaganda About His Failed Petition:
The following emails from Hari Sampath clearly show how he attempted to spin his failures into something legitimate:

—– Original Message —–
From: “Hari Sampath”
To: (e-mail recievers)
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2001 5:46 PM
Subject: Supreme Court update…

Dear All,

The process has started in the Supreme court of India.

Yesterday, Prashant Kumar brought the petition up in the Supreme Court as a “special mention case”, which means we want the matter to be decided urgently and immediately.

Although we fully know that this is not possible, it was meant as a strategic exercise to “let the SC know about this petition” and initiate a formal process.

The petition was heard briefly by a three member bench of the Supreme court, which comprised of two senior judges, Justice SP Barucha and Justice BN Agarwal, and another judge.

Kamini Jaiswal, a leading Senior attorney of the Supreme court, and known to be a firebrand lady in prominent legal circles, who takes up high profile common causes, appeared for me to present arguments before the bench.

Kamini Jaiswal has an intense dislike of Sai Baba and all that he has been doing, she has informed me that she will launch a no holds barred scathing attack on the Sai Baba/politicians nexus when the case is heard in detail.

The Justices had a few questions at the preliminary hearing yesterday. Justice Barucha wanted to know why this matter was being presented for special mention, which is a high urgency category.

Kamini Jaiswal opened arguments by saying that the CBI has had the complaint for nearly 6 weeks, and as still nothing had been done, she contends that this is a special mention matter.

She also submitted that as the matter was one involving a public figure , there should be immediate resolution.

From what was told to me over the phone by Prashant Kumar, the exchanges went somewhat this way :

***********************************************

Justice Barucha : Can the learned Senior counsel for the petitioner please explain why this matter is being referred to the Special mention sitting ?

Kamini Jaiswal : Your Lordship will note that the complaint to the CBI had been made by the petitioner on March 12th. As the CBI has not done anything till now, and six weeks having elapsed, petitioner contends that there is a case for urgency.

Justice Barucha : It appears to this court that the matter would have to be examined in depth before any ruling can be made , but it is not clear why the same purpose cannot be achieved if this court agrees to hear the matter on a later date, and not under special mention.

Kamini Jaiswal : Is your Lordship suggesting that the admission hearing be posted to a future date , but not under special mention ?

Justice Barucha : Yes, what about May 8th ?

Kamini Jaiswal : That should be fine, My Lord.

Justice Agarwal : Would learned Senior counsel please say why a future date would affect the eventual process if the petitioner’s prayer is granted, which could be resolved by a special mention today ?

Kamini Jaiswal : Your Lordship is aware that the petitioner is praying for a CBI investigation into all the activities of respondent # 3. As petitioner is asking for investigation, it is our contention that the earllier, the better. Further, your Lordship is no doubt aware of the fact that respondent number 3 has a lot of powerful “divine followers”, who may impact the investigation, if it is delayed.

Justice Agarwal : Is learned senior counsel for the petitioner contending that delay could result in tampering with investigative process by people in power ?

Kamini Jaiswal : Yes, My Lord. We further contend that in view of the fact that respondent number 3 has a lot of “divine followers” who could be directly impacted by such direction to the CBI to investigate by this court, such a tampering could well take place.Even Presidents and Prime Ministers are “divine followers” of respondent 3

Justice Barucha : Learned Senior counsel need not have any such apprehensions , as this court has noted the nature of this case, and of course, will ensure that no such tampering is done that may adversely affect the petitioner’s prayers, if this court so chooses to issue such directions. Further, this matter requires serious and deep analysis, and also the date being suggested is only a few days away, May 8th was indicated to be fine , by Senior counsel.

Kamini Jaiswal : Yes, My Lord, this court’s assurance is noted with gratitude, and the point taken.

Justice Agarwal : I saw the contents of the petition, and I would like to mention to senior counsel that these matters have been going on for several decades at least. When the petitioner is praying for direction to the CBI to investigate matters going on for such a long time, a few days from now is not really going to impact anything in the investigations. It also requires deeper analysis.

Jamini Jaiswal : I agree, my Lord, May 8th is perfectly fine for us.

Justice Barucha : Very well, admission hearing posted for May 8th by this court.

Kamini Jaiswal : Petitioner and counsel thank your Lordships.

***********************************************

Kamini Jaiswal: She is a senior advocate in Supreme Court and renowned for taking up litigations for public interest.

Kamini Jaiswal stated in open court that she fears that investigation could be tampered with, and made the judges give an assurance that this will not happen. She has also openly stated in court that even former and present Prime ministers , former president etc are all “divine followers” , who may impact the investigations, and made the Judges ask specific questions about whether she feared interference. She has also managed to “elicit” a comment from Justice Agarwal where he says “these things have been going on for decades”

Advani told me that he will be studying the matter in detail today and tomorrow. He has asked me to call him tomorrow for further discussions.

Hari.

Before the May 8 hearing, Justice Anand (who is a Sai Baba devotee) dismissed Judge Agarwal from the case and appointed his own surrogate Judge Lahoti. Corruption of this sort tends to be ‘invisible’. Lahoti then dismissed the case, he repeatedly told the lawyers to take it to the Andhra High Court… despite the legally valid objections of Kamini Jaiswal. The following transcript of the proceedings shows clearly the corrupting influence of Sai Baba’s powerful interests on and within the Supreme Court of India.

The following transcript is from an e-mail circulated by Hari Sampath at the time to numerous recipients, including Conny Larsson, who has provided this e-mailed transcript.

Kamini Jaiswal : May I proceed with the case introduction ?

Judge Lahoti : Wait….there is a problem with the affidavit of the petitioner, I want it clarified.

Kamini : There is absolutely nothing wrong, the affidavit is perfectly fine.

Judge Lahoti : Why is the affidavit dated April 5th 2001 and you are coming up only now with the petition , in May ?

Kamini : The affidavit was signed by the petitioner and had to be mailed, along with his petition. The petition had to be mailed to him first so that he could sign it.

Judge Lahoti : How can that take more than a month ? This is an old affidavit , then.

Kamini : If you notice the address of the petitioner, he is in the United States, and mail takes a few days to reach there and then back here to India. We filed the petition more than 10 days back, citing reasons for urgent mention, and according to the court order, the case was posted for today. That is why we are here now.

Judge Lahoti : Well…it seems that the petitioner is in USA,it is my mistake.
Anyway there are other reasons I want to clarify this petition. Why are you
approaching the Supreme court ? We don’t want to hear this petition, please go to the High court in Andhra Pradesh.

Kamini : The reasons are clearly mentioned in the petition, and we are filing the petition under Article 32 of the constitution, which gives us the right to come to the Supreme court.

Judge Patnaik (second judge) : Why was the petition not filed in the Andhra High court under Article 226 ? Go to the High court.

Kamini : That is what I am coming to, Article 32 and Article 226, both grant the same rights in the Supreme court and High court respectively…..either option can be pursued. If I may proceed with my argument, I will explain why…

Judge Lahoti : No… go to the High court…

Kamini : Can I at least have a hearing ?

Judge Patnaik : ok.. go on…

(Kamini begins her arguments, and starts detailing all the media reports about Sai Baba, the statements of sexual molestation, etc….. when she reaches the point about UNESCO…. she is interrupted)

Judge Patnaik : This court doesn’t want to hear this petition, go to the Andhra High court.

Kamini : But I have not even come to the point explaining why we choose to file under Article 32 in Supreme court…

Judge Lahoti : You can do the same under Article 226 in Andhra Court…

Kamini : But that exactly is what I was going to say, about why I cannot do that there, can I please continue ?

Judge Patnaik : Why are you here, why don’t you go to Andhra ?

Kamini : It is clearly stated in the petition, and I am coming to that…

Judge Lahoti : what grounds ?

Kamini : The respondent Sai Baba has a 60,000 million rupee empire in Andhra Pradesh, with total control over the entire state government… how can we go there ? There are also lot of other political influences …

Judge Patnaik : No, we are not going to allow this petition here, go to the Andhra High court..

Kamini : Bt if this was the issue, we could have been informed 10 days back, we were asked to come today…

Judge Patnaik : We are going to dismiss the petition.

Kamini : On what grounds ?

Judge Lahoti : We do not have to cite any reason for dismissing it.

Kamini : Can you at least give a ruling “with liberty to go to Andhra High court” ?

Judge Patnaik : No I am not going to do that.

Kamini : But that is what you were saying all along , if you want us to go to the Andhra High court, and if that is the reason you are not hearing this petition,
can you please put it in writing ? We can then take it to the Andhra High court .

Judge Patnaik : No , I just asked you why you are here, and said that you should be in the Andhra High court. I am not going to include that in the ruling.

Kamini : Can we at least withdraw the petition from this court, and approach the Andhra High court ?

Judge Lahoti : you could approach the Andhra High court if you want to, but we are going to call this petition “dismissed”, and not allow you to withdraw it.

Judge Patnaik : Petition dismissed, no reasons are given by this court. That is the ruling.

Important observations about Hari Sampth’s emails:

  • Hari Sampath divulged that he was not in India during the hearing of the writ petition. He was being given updates by phone. Even Kamini Jaiswal and the Judge acknowledged Hari Sampath was in the USA.
  • No scans to the transcripts were provided. The reason why no scans to the transcripts were provided was because Hari Sampath admitted that the exchanges between lawyers and Justices were obtained from memory by Prashant Kumar. Therefore, the exchanges between lawyers and Justices are not credible and cannot be guaranteed to be accurate or unbiased.
  • Hari Sampath said that Kamini Jaiswal took the case pro bono because she had an “intense dislike of Sai Baba”. Therefore, it is my personal opinion that Kamini Jaiswal undertook the writ petition as a personal vendetta and as a publicity stunt.
  • Hari Sampath admitted that although the lawyers knew that is was “not possible” to file a “special mention case”, they did so anyway as a “strategic exercise”.
  • Hari Sampath alleged (without any documentation) that the petition was briefly heard by “two senior judges, Justice SP Barucha and Justice BN Agarwal, and another judge”.
  • Hari Sampath alleged (without any documentation) that Justice A.S. Anand dismissed Judge B.N. Agrawal from the case and appointed his own surrogate Justice R.C. Lahoti. There is no proof that Justice A.S. Anand or Justice R.C. Lahoti are/were Sai Devotees. It appears Sampath erroneously made these claims in order to justify why his writ petition was dismissed.
  • Hari Sampath gave no reason why Justice S.P. Bharucha did not preside over the case. It appears that although Justice Agarwal and Justice Bharucha “heard briefly” the reason for the writ petition (because it was filed as an urgent “special mention case”), it did not mean that they would preside over the subsequent hearing scheduled for May 8th 2001 (which was presided by Justice G.B. Pattanaik and Justice R.C. Lahoti).
  • After the Justices indicated that they were going to dismiss the writ petition, Kamini Jaiswal attempted to get the Justices to give a ruling stating “with liberty to go to Andhra High court”. The Justices saw through this ploy and refused to give a ruling stating “with liberty to go to Andhra High court”.
  • After realizing the negative impact of having the writ petition dismissed, Kamini Jaiswal attempted to do damage control and requested that the writ petition be withdrawn! Justice Lahoti saw through this ploy as well and refused to allow Kamini Jaiswal to withdraw the petition and made a ruling of “dismissed”.
  • Instead of approaching the appropriate forum (the High Court in Andhra Pradesh), the case was dropped by all three lawyers with no further action.

It is very amusing that Anti-Sai Activists cite this failed writ petition as something legitimate in their favor. It is also very disturbing that Barry Pittard misrepresented the facts about this writ petition and attempted to argue that it was an actual court case. It most certainly was not.

Reference

Also see:

Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part One (You Are Here)
Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part Two
Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part Three
Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part Four
Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part Five
Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part Six
Failed Legal Maneuvers: Part Seven

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