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Osho Foundation out to gift Rs 8 crore property to Delhi trust

Osho Foundation out to gift Rs 8 crore property to Delhi trust

Published: Friday, Oct 14, 2011, 8:00 IST
By Abhay Vaidya | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

In a move that has triggered a raging controversy among followers of Osho Rajneesh, the Osho International Foundation (OIF) has applied to Mumbai’s charity commissioner seeking permission to gift prime property estimated at Rs8 crore to an unknown trust in Delhi.

This has agitated a large section of the followers who have accused the OIF of surreptitiously trying to dispose of valuable real estate meant for the propagation of Osho’s philosophy. The OIF controls the Osho International Meditation Resort, formerly the Osho Commune, and related activities spread over nearly 30-35 acres of land at Koregaon Park.

Two Osho followers, Yogesh Thakkar (Swami Prem Geet) and Kishor Raval (Swami Prem Anadi), have challenged the OIF application in the charity commissionerate. Another disciple, Nitin Phulphagar (Swami Nitin Bharati), has joined them in challenging various activities of the OIF.

All three have questioned the gift deed application at a time when the OIF spokesperson Amrit Sadhana has admitted to mortgaging property No. 9 against a bank loan to raise funds for renovation.

The application, signed by OIF trustee Mukesh Sarda dated September 19, 2011, has been made under Section 36(1)(a) of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950. It proposes to gift “six units” in Little Woods Co-op Housing Society, plot number 22, Koregaon Park to New Delhi-based Darshan Trust with its registered office at A-34, Defence Colony.

The property, named Osho Sanai, is a single-storied bungalow in Lane number 1.

The OIF application states that the trustees of Darshan Trust with its office in Delhi had approached the OIF “with a request for some space to accommodate the teachers and participants of its activities in Pune”.

Since the objectives of the Darshan Trust and the OIF are similar, the matter was discussed in detail at a meeting of the trustees on August 14, 2011, the application states.

At that meeting, OIF trustee Mukesh Sarda informed that the 6,611 sq ft property at Koregaon Park plot No. 22 was “excess space” which was not required by the OIF to fulfil its objectives. Also, that the OIF was incurring expenses to maintain and repair this property without deriving any income from it.

It was decided unanimously at this meeting that the property would be donated to Darshan Trust, subject to the approval and sanction of the charity commissioner and provided that the stamp duty, registration and other expenses towards the alienation of the property was borne by Darshan Trust.

According to the application, in 1997, this property comprising six units in Little Woods Co-op Housing Society Ltd was received as a gift by six different foundations.

The 10 page application states that a number of trusts were amalgamated in the OIF at various points of time in previous years, “for better administration and management and carrying out the common activities of the trusts…”

When asked by DNA to provide details of Darshan Trust, OIF’s spokesperson Amrit Sadhana said, “The trustees said that the matter is sub-judice, therefore we cannot comment on it.”





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