Update from Theosophy News:
The law suit filed in Chennai High Court by Krishnaphani and Rama Chandra Rao against TS, its officers and others involved in Election is going forward to trial. Judge has just released his judgement. Judgement is in public domain and can be downloaded at the link listed below.
Tim Boyd, as President of TS, filed objections claiming that the members have no standing to sue.
This was denied and judge has ruled that they have standing and hence the case goes forward to trial.
It is significant that the judge has recognized the importance of fair and free elections in Democracy and let us all pray that at the end of the day, the law suit will fix the TS President Election System as it is very critical to the future of theosophical movement.
We can be sure that theosophical movement will ultimately win.
In the trial, much details would emerge, we all should be ready for many surprises.
Some Key Observations:
"Accordingly, this application (of Tim Boyd) deserves no merits and the same is dismissed."
"Accordingly, this Court is of the view that the applicant/D10 is not justified in contending that the respondents 1 and 2/plaintiffs are not having locus-standi to file the present suit"
"Court has also found that a member or voter of a Society/Association has a right to challenge the elections in the absence of specific bar either in the Bye-laws or under the statutory provisions."
"I have already pointed out that the By-laws of the first defendant-Association are totally silent about the manner in which the elections have to be challenged."
"Election is a symbol of Democracy and the same has to be conducted strictly in accordance with the procedures established by law in a fair, transparent and unbiased manner. There cannot be any compromise on the mandatory and essential procedures in conducting the elections. Only when those procedures are strictly followed, it could be said that the Democratic way of electing people, has been achieved. If there are any deviations, it should be viewed seriously, as the same cannot get the seal of approval from a Court of Law, automatically.”
People should take note of the blog posts by Dr. Veeravalli Raghavan "Raghu"
News from Theos-Talk/TheosNews
New Secret Dimension in Theosophical Society membership –
The conditions of admission to membership has always been very simple. One should be in sympathy with the First Object – Brotherhood. This has been discussed back and forth over a century. This is what is sold to potential members around the world.
As a consequence of the expansive and comprehensive view of ‘brotherhood’, seven Presidents starting with Olcott have never cancelled membership of even troublesome and potentially ‘evil’ members.
All that changed once Radha Burnier died. We all witnessed en masse revocation in the Indian Section. Of course the victims have sought justice from the civil courts in India.
Traditionally when spiritual organizations ex-communicate, they clearly lay down the violations which led to it. But TS has not yet revealed the real reasons why such an extreme step was taken en masse. One would expect some grave actions on the part of members which led to the extreme action. But continued silence made one wonder if this was not simple politics kept secret under guise of protecting the privacy of victims. Once victims went to court, the revocations became public knowledge world-wide.
Public discussion took place, courtesy of Facebook and Twitter, trying to elicit details of real reasons for the revocations. Through the mouthpiece, all we learnt was that the Indian Section Council voted for the revocations. This convinced no one.
Few days ago, critical details were discovered. from the document which was voted on, it was stated:
“...and also will be subversive of discipline within the organization.”
It is now clear that under the new leadership, a new secret unwritten dimension has been introduced to the membership. The silence of the General Council on this issue in spite of many member requests to cancel the revocations and invite the members back, makes one conclude that the General Council tacitly supports the new secret unwritten dimension of enforcing a secret code of discipline on members. This is contrary to everything we know about membership in TS.
We are in a transparent world and it is the duty of the TS leadership explain what this discipline is. This is very critical for current members as well as we need to be upfront with potential and new members. Revocations in Indian Section is not an issue of the Section. It is an International issue that affects the future of theosophy and TS world-wide.
In pre-Internet days, issues such as this used to be kept secret. But we are living in a different environment when information travels at the speed of light and no one can censor or control the dissemination.
We hope TS leaders will soon clarify the new dimension. Until the policy issue of membership revocation is quickly discussed and world convinced of the uniqueness of theosophical view of brotherhood, it is a hard sell to talk about theosophy and is harder to recruit new followers and members.
Tactics of silence will not make the issue go away in today’s Facebook and Twitter culture.
From Theosophy News (Twitter feed):
UPDATE ON LAW SUIT BY KRISHNAPHANI REGARDING REVOCATION MEMBERSHIP ---
Membership of Krishnaphani, long time dedicated active life member was revoked for yet to be publicly disclosed charges. We would not have known about the revocation had he not sought justice from the courts of the land – Chennai. He had no where else to go seeking justice from the most unbrotherly act of the TS – kicking out a member secretly.
TS has hired high powered expensive lawyers and doing great job of defending the right of TS to kick out members. Lawyers attempted to get the law suite dismissed on the ground that as a revoked member, Krishnaphani had no standing, but was not accepted by the courts. So the lawsuit is proceeding in snail space.
Indian lawyers are legendary in delaying civil litigation using many tricks. Of course they are paid to do it and do an excellent job for the money.
As the case is going forward, a hearing is scheduled on August 22, 2017.
An interesting order of the court has come to light. All the defendants were to submit written responses to the plaintiff's complaint. They lawyer were dragging their feet and did not submit responses for 815 days – 2.23 years.
One of the reasons given by the lawyers is that Bro Harihara Raghavan is 80 years old and is undergoing medical treatment for old age related ailments and some of the others were out of town. And the judge accepted the above reasons and condoned the delay.
At this rate, the litigation will drag on and on and lawyers love clients with lot of money and in due course many of the aging defendants would be out of incarnation. Justice delayed is justice denied is the well known maxim.
The sad situation is that Col Olcott, a seasoned lawyer, Founder and President for Life, who gave prime of his life and all he had for TS, could not act against a single troublesome member whom he considered evil. He was well aware and sensitive to doing any harm to a brother – and sought advise from his Guru when he was in his death bed. And of course the advise he got was that even such a member needs our kind thoughts.
Lo and behold. A little known Secretary of Indian Section with the help of the rubber stamp Section Council had kicked out eight members in a very short time. Was Olcott and his Gurus were wrong in their view of how to deal with problem members? Has times changed that the comprehensive view of brotherhood is thrown out of the window? The additional irony is that all those who were involved in kicking out members are members of Esoteric Section which is considered as the heart of TS and it was expected that they have a better understanding of what brotherhood means.
The greater irony is that the General Council, which is the top governing body of TS, has by its silence, has supported the policy of kicking out members secretly since the fact is hidden from members under the fig leaf justification of member privacy. The General Council cannot hide behind the excuse that they did not know the episodes of HPB and Olcott and Annie Besant's article published in the month Olcott passed away. The writer had send copies of the published accounts to all the GC members and senior members of TS and GC has been silent. It is to be noted that all the members of the GC are also members of Esoteric Section and we expect them to have a better appreciation of what theosophical brotherhood is.
The bottom line is very simple. In engaging in anti brotherhood policy and fighting it in courts using lawyers, is hurting the mission of TS – spreading theosophy. Today due to Internet, all information is transparent and who would want to join an organization which talks about brotherhood and involves in actions opposite.
Let us all send out loving thoughts to all the movers and shakers in the hope they see and understand what theosophical brotherhood means.
|Recall mw1 by 21/09/2017
|Next Hearing Date
|II Additional Labour Court
|The Workman Of the Theosophical Society
The Mgt Of The Therosophical Scociet
S. Arunachalam Associates
S.Ramasubramaniam and Associates
The following is from Theos-Talk and Theosophy News on Twitter and FaceBoook
Tim Boyd Out as TS President from April 28, 2017 – Registrar of Societies Rules. This court ruling was on March 2, 2018
-- -- --
Tim Boyd Out as TS President from April 28, 2017 – Registrar of Societies Rules
Based on complaints, Registrar of South Chennai, Ms. P. V. Geetha, M.A., M.Phil., ruled on March 2nd, 2018 that the term of office of Tim Boyd has ended at three years of his assuming the office.
Societies Act limits term of office of top officials of all Registered Societies to THREE years. Only the Government of Tamil Nadu has the power to extend the term of office. Till now it has not done so.
When the legal term limit was reached April 27, 2017, all subsequent administrative actions by Tim Boyd are null and void.
This encompasses all and every personnel, monetary, and property matters.
Here is a list which is not comprehensive:
All appointments of officers are Null and Void.
Nomination and appointment of additional members of General Council are null and void.
He should immediately surrender all TS properties and records in his possession.
He should return HPB ring to the Treasury.
Signature authority on all bank and financial accounts in India and abroad are to be immediately revoked.
He can no longer function in any ex-officio position TS President.
Incidentally, TS Rules do not permit President after expiration of elected term, to continue in office pending election of successor.
In view of the above, only elected members of the General Council have legal standing to manage TS. A committee of elected members should take over the responsibility of managing TS until a new President is elected.
We should look forward to Boyd immediately relinquishing the office. It is the only ethical, moral and honorable theosophical thing he can do. He will come out smelling like a rose! Hope he does.
Will he do it? Let us keep tuned.
M K Ramadoss
San Antonio, Texas, USA
-- -- --
Here is the computer-translated text of the court papers, originally in Tamil:
Rumor: TS/Adyar is going to appeal/petition this ruling on term limits. We will post the court papers from India when, and if, they do.
TIME TO BE FULLY TRANSPARENT
This is another update from TheosophyNews.
From Theosophy News on FaceBook
=== === === === === ===
BREAKING NEWS -- TS ADYAR SEEKS HELP FROM CHENNAI COURTS --
TS has filed in Chennai High Court, writ petitions and stay petitions against Registrar's ruling limiting Boyd's term to three years.
After violating for nearly one year, the Societies Act limiting the office of President to three years, now TS is seeking help from the Courts. What a spectacle? You violate the law and then seek Court's Help. The world is watching and free publicity for TS.
Obviously it seems the Government which has to power to override any provision of Societies Act has not done anything to allow seven year term for TS President.
One wonders why it took so long after the ruling of Registrar to file the writ.
There is a well known "Clean Hands Doctrine" which says
"a rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or petition for a court order must be free from unfair conduct (have "clean hands" or not have done anything wrong) in regard to the subject matter of his/her claim."
TS has clearly violated the three year limit and as well as other violations of the Societies Act (secret meeting of GC etc.) and it would be fun to watch the proceedings of the Court and today you cannot hide anything from the world with Internet broadcasting round the clock.
Surely some good will come out of the present move. Let us not forget the lawyers are very happy to make a lot of money and they know TS has lot of money.
Here are the details of the writs filed:
Anyone in Chennai who wants to be in the court to watch historic event can do so and feel free to report back here after the proceeding.
IN THE COURT OF THE HON'BLE MR JUSTICE T.RAJA
TO BE HEARD ON THURSDAY THE 12TH DAY OF APRIL 2018 AT 10.30 A.M. COURT NO. 24 ----------------------------------------------------------------
WP.8625/2018 THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
ADVOCATES M/S. A.GOVINDASAMY CHENNAI . S.SANDEEP, VIVEK GIRISH MENON & V.HALLEL BEN
THE SECRETARY AND 4 OTHERS
and WP.8626/2018 - DO - and For Stay WMP.10552/2018 - DO - and For Stay WMP.10553/2018 - DO - 21. WP.8641/2018
Here is a new update from Theosophy News:
BREAKING NEWS -------
TS HAS FILED A WRIT IN CHENNAI HIGH COURT TO QUASH THE ORDER OF THE REGISTRAR RULING PRESIDENT'S TERM IS LIMITED TO THREE YEARS --
Here is the full text of the Writ -- A long post -- Enjoy --
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
(Special Original Jurisdiction)
W.M.P.NO. OF 2018 IN
W.P. No.Of 2018
Represented by the Secretary, Marja Artamaa Having its headquarters at Adyar
Chennai - 600 020 ..Petitioner/Petitioner
1. The Secretary
Commercial Taxes and Registration Department
Government of Tamil Nadu Fort St George Chennai -600 009
2. The Inspector General of Registration
Government of Tamil Nadu
No.100, Santhome High Road
3. The District Registrar c** Registrar of Societies
South Chennai District
Saidapet Chennai-600 015
The Law Association
City Civil Court
High Court Campus, Chennai -104
5. Kesiraju Krishna Phani
H.No.2-2-18/18/4/52, Plot No..38 2nd Floor
Durgabai Deshmukh Colony
Hyderabad -500013 .......Respondents/ Respondents
AFFIDAVIT FILED BY THE PETITIONER
I, Marja Artamaa daughter of Mr.Aumo Kalervo Artamaa Christian aged about 65 years, the International Secretary of the Theosophical Society, having offlce at Adyar, Chennai - 600020 do hereby solemnly affirm and sincerely state as follows:
1. I am the Petitioner herein and as such I am well acquainted with the facts of the case.
2. I state that the Theosophical Society was founded by Henry Steel Olcott, Helena Blavatsky and others in the year 1875 at New York, U.S.A. Thereafter the Society was incorporated in India on 3.04.1905 vide Registration No.2 of 1905 - 06 pursuant to Act XXI of 1860 of the Governor- General of India in Council entitled " An Act for the Registration of Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act, 1860.
3. I state that the primary object for establishment of the Society is to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour. The Society was also founded to encourage the comparative study of Philosophy, Religions and Science. Moreover it is a spiritual organisation. The Society's motto is There is no Religion higher than Truth'.
4. I state that the Society is 142 years old and has nearly 26,000 members in 70 countries across the Globe. Its international headquarters is located in Adyar, Chennai which has an ashram-like atmosphere. The founder President of the Society was Mr. H. S. Olcott and the Society had as its members, great personalities like Annie Besant, Sir Subramania Aiyer, Judge of Madras High Court, Francesca E Arundate, Upendranath Basu etc. The Society had framed its own Rules and Regulations for its management.
5. I submit that since its inception, President's term of Office is Seven years from the date of assuming office and a President shall serve no more than three seven-year consecutive terms of office. As the members are located in 70 Countries, Election to the Office of the President is conducted once in 7 years since inception of the Society. It will be impossible to hold the Elections once in 3 years as the process of Election as contemplated in the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act will not at all be sufficient. It is further submitted that the procedure for conducting the Elections for the Post of International President is quite cumbersome and it would take considerable time and as such 3 year term for the Post of President as contemplated in the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 is not at all adequate.
6. I humbly state that the President should have longer tenure in order to effectively and successfully carryout various Theosophical projects and plans not only in India, but also in all other Countries. As such existing term of Office of the President may have to be continued. It will be absolutely impossible to hold the Elections once in 3 years as contemplated in Section 15 (4) of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975. it is therefore Imperative that the Society is exempted from the purview of Section 15 (4) of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 to enable the Petitioner Society to continue to hold the Elections once in 7 years as hitherto.
7. I respectfully state that the Theosophical Society was already exempted from the provisions of Sections of 14 (1); 15 (2), 15 (3), 16 (3) (b) (ii) and 25 (3) of Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 by the Government of Tamil Nadu, Industries Department by G.O. No. 1024 dated 01.07.1980 in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 54 of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975. Further the Society was again exempted from the provisions of Sections 12 (1) and (2) 16 (3) (a) and 24 of Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 by the Government of Tamil Nadu, Industries Department by G.O. No. 952 dated 09.08.1983 in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 54 of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975;
8. I respectfully submit that the Petitioner Society in its application dated 23.10.2017 to the 2nd Respondent urged upon the Government of Tamil Nadu to grant exemption to the Petitioner Society from the provisions of Sectionl 5 (4) of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 with retrospective effect in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 54 of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 and the same is pending with the Government.
9. It is stated that on the basis of false complaints by 4th and 5th Respondents, the 3rd Respondent appeared to have conducted an enquiry and issued an order in his proceedings No.11825/E2/2015 dated 02.03.2018 and holding that Petitioner Society has been functioning in accordance with the Rules and. Regulations of the Society and there in no violation of any Rules and the provisions of the Act It is further stated that the request of the Petitioner Society to grant exemption from the provision of Act, 1975 to enable the Petitioner Society to continue to hold the Elections for the post of the President once in 7 years as hitherto is recommended to the Government, which is vested with such a power. It is further stated by the 3rd Respondent that till the receipt of G.O from the Government of Tamil Nadu, it is advised that tenure of President may be 3 years.
10. It is respectfully stated that the 3rd respondent has no jurisdiction to pass orders oh the basis of the representation dated 11.06.2015 and 25.11.2015 made by non members of the Society namely, Mr.Ramu and on the basis of the representation dated 08.11.2017 said to have been made by another non member of the Society namely Mr. Kesiraju Krishna Phani of Hyderabad, Both the Respondents have no locus standi to make any complaint pertaining to the Petitioner Society to the Respondent and request him to conduct an enquiry. The Petitioner Society submitted a reply dated 28.10.2015 to the 3rd Respondent and it is not known that the reply of the Petitioner was considered by the 3rd Respondent and it is also not known that what action was taken on the reply of the Petitioner
11. It is submitted that the 5th Respondent filed a Suit in C.S.No.682 of 2014 before the Hon'ble High Court of Judicature at Madras against the Petitioner Society for a declaration that the Election of the elected President is void and null and void. It is further submitted that the issue relating to the tenure of the President is also an issue in the said Civil Suit. No injunction was granted in favour of the 5 Respondent herein, The 4th Defendant filed a Suit in O.S.No.1654 of 2016 against the Petitioner Society and others before, the I Asst City Civil Court at Chennai for a declaration that the Rules and Regulations of the Petitioner Society is in contravention of 15 (4) of the Societies Act. This pertains to the tenure of the President and this is one of the several prayers sought for by the 4th Respondent in the said Suit The 4th Respondent also filed a Writ Petition in W.P.No.22309 of 2017 before the Hon'ble High Court of Judicature at Madras against 2nd and 3* Respondents and the Petitioner Society regarding the Rules of the Petitioner Society, wherin the issue of the tenure of the President post is an issue. It is submitted that
when the matter is pending before the Courts and it is sub judice, the 3rd Respondent ought not to have passed the impugned order relating to the term of the office of the President.
12. It is humbly submitted that the 3rd respondent under the provisions of the Act has jurisdiction only to conduct an enquiry on the basis of an application made by a majority members of the registered Society or not less than 1/3"* members of the registered Society. Admittedly no such complaint was received from the members of the Society and therefore the action initiated by the 3rd respondent on the basis of the allegations made by Mr.Ramu and Mr. Kesiraju Krishna Phani is completely without jurisdiction. It is on this ground alone; the impugned order dated 02.03.2018 in so far as it relates to the last para is liable to be set aside.
13. I submit that the 3rd Respondent is not empowered under the provisions of the Act to exercise any advisory jurisdiction and resolve the alleged controversies between the non members and the Petitioner society. Since the 4th and 5th Respondents are non members of the Petitioner society, they have no locus to initiate any legal proceedings against the Petitioner society in any court of law. The 3rd Respondent has accepted the Returns filed by the Petitioner Society filed In Form VI and Form VII and minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 27th April 2014, wherein it has been clearly mentioned that the President was elected for a period of 7 years by the General Body on 27.04.2014. Therefore the 3rd respondent having accepted the returns that have been filed should not have passed the impugned order relating to the term of the office of the President.
14. I respectfully state that the impugned order of the 3rd Respondent in so far as it holds that the President can function only for 3 years till an exemption application is received by the Petitioner, is in total lack of jurisdiction when a superior authority namely the Government of Tamil Nadu is ceased of the matter relating to the grant of exemption under Section 54 of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975. The 3rd respondent should not have made any order holding that the President of the Petitioner society can function only for a period of 3 years till orders are received from the government regarding the exemption.
15. I respectfully submit that the 3rd Respondent under the provisions of the Act could have issued only directions under Section 12 of the Act to amend the bye-laws of the Society and bring it in line with the provisions of the Act. Until such an amendment Is made to the bye - laws of the Society, the existing bye - laws will continue to hold field.
16. I humbly submit that the Petitioner Society is 142 year old International Society consisting of 26,000 members from 70 countries. Since Inception the tenure of the President is 7 years and it Is impossible to hold elections once in-3 years as the Election process of the Society itself will take a long time as stated-above and the Petitioner Society will be forced to function without a head. It may be pertinent to mention that some litigations against the Petitioner Society have been pending and the presence of the President is essential at this crucial juncture. It is therefore just and necessary that the impugned order in his proceedings Nb.1,1825/E2/2015 dated 02.03.2018 is stayed.
17. Aggrieved by the illegal and arbitrary action of the 3rd Respondent and having no other alternative or efficacious remedy, the Petitioner begs to invoke the extra-ordinary Jurisdiction of this Hon'ble High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a Writ of Certiorari for the ; following among other
a) The Impugned order of the 3rd Respondent in his proceedings No.11825/E2/2015 dated 02.03.2018, is clearly illegal, arbitrary and is liable to be set aside.
b) The impugned order of the 3rd Respondent is totally without jurisdiction and liable to be set aside
c) The impugned order is not in accordance with the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act and as such it is liable to be set aside
d) The impugned order is vitiated for non-application of mind
e) The 3rd Respondent ought to have seen that since inception of the Petitioner Society, the Election of the President has been conducted once in 7 years
f) The 3rd Respondent ought to have considered that the Petitioner Society is an International Society consisting of 70 countries with 26,000 members and strict application of the Tamil Nadu Act may not be practicable for such a Society
g) The 3rd Respondent having recommended to the Government for granting exemption to the Petitioner from the provisions of the Act to continue to hold the Elections of the President once in 7 years, should not have issued the impugned order
h) When the 3rd Respondent has come to the conclusion that the Petitioner Society has been functioning in accordance with the Rules and the Act, the impugned order ought not to have been issued
i) The impugned order would create utter confusion in the Society and it would destabilise the 142 year old institution presided over by the illustrious predecessors
j) The 3rd respondent has no jurisdiction to pass the impugned order on the basis of the representation dated 11.06.2015 and 25.11.2015 made by non members of the Society
k) The 3rd respondent under the provisions of the Act has jurisdiction only to conduct an enquiry on the basis of an application made by a majority members of the registered Society or not less than 1/3rd members of the registered Society. Admittedly no such complaint was received from the members of the Society and therefore the action initiated by the 3rd respondent on the basis of the allegations made by non-members is completely without jurisdiction. It is on this ground alone; the impugned order dated 02.0312018 in so far as it relates to the last para is liable to be set aside.
l) The 3rd Respondent under the provisions of the Act could have issued only directions under Section 12 of the Act to amend the bye-laws of the Society and bring it in line with the provisions of the. Act. Until such an amendment is made to the bye - laws of the Society, the existing bye - laws will continue to hold field. As such the impugned order in so far as it relates to the last para is liable to be set aside.
m) The 3rd Respondent ought to have seen that 3 year tenure for the President is not at all adequate as the Election process as contemplated in the Rules of the Society is quite cumbersome and it will take very long time for holding elections and as such the impugned order is liable to be set aside
n) The 3rd Respondent ought not to have passed the impugned order while the matter is sub-judice.
18. I respectfully state that the Petitioner would be put to grave loss and hardship if the impugned order of the 3rd Respondent in his proceedings No.11825/E2/2015 dated 02.03.2018, is not stayed till such time the exemption is granted by the 1stt Respondent Therefore, the impugned order in his proceedings NO.11825/E2/2015' dated 02.03.2018 issued by the 3rd Respondent has to be necessarily stayed during the pendency of the instant Writ Petition.
It is therefore respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to pass an order of interim stay of the impugned order passed by the 3rd Respondent in his order in proceedings No.11825/E2/2015 dated 02.03.2018 issued by him in so far as it relates to the last para, wherein it is stated that the tenure of the office of the President of the Petitioner Society is 3 years until the order is received from the 1st Respondent on the exemption application, pending disposal of the Writ Petition and pass such further or the other order as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper and thus render justice.
It is therefore respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to issue Writ of Certiorari calling for the records of the 3rd Respondent in his order in proceedings No. 11825/E2/2015 dated 02.03.2018 issued by him and quash the same in so far as it relates to the last para, wherein it is stated that the tenure of the office of the President of the Petitioner Society is 3years until the order is received from the 1st Respondent on the exemption application and pass such further or the other orders as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case and thus render justice.
Solemnly affirmed at Chennai
from Theosophy News
== == ==
This is a long read, take some time to go over it.
Specific Issues Raised by Ramadoss
1. President's term of office. In a recent mailing Ramadoss states that “We now know that District Registrar has ruled that the (TS) President's Term is limited to three years. Of course, The Theosophical Society has challenged this decision in the High Court of Madras.”
On April 12, 2018 the High Court of Madras suspended the order of the Registrar, ruling that the President's term will remain as 7 years, as stated in TS Bye Law 9. The language of the court's ruling is as follows:
4. A perusal of bye-law 9 of the Rules and regulations for the management of the petitioner society (TS) would clearly show that the terms of office of the President shall be seven years from the date of assuming office. It is useful to extract bye-law 9 of the Rules and regulations which reads as under:
“Bye law 9. President's term of office The terms of office of the President shall be seven years from the date of assuming office.”
5.considering the submission made by the learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner (TS), this Court is inclined to pass the following order:
The respondents are directed to allow the petitioner to continue by virtue of bye-law 9 which is extracted as above.
2. Damodar Gardens. Ramadoss refers to the “looming danger of disposal of the Adyar Estate to a private party, which endangers the loss of property to The Theosophical Society. Details of this proposed transaction in terms of the financial and business implications and the duration of the arrangement have not been disclosed to even to the General Council members.” He also says, quite irresponsibly, that “the TVS Education Society...intend to grab the land”
Damodar Gardens has not been sold, nor will it be, neither has a lease or legal agreement been entered into with anyone.
This is a reference to the Skill Training Center and International School proposed for Damodar Gardens when the Krishnamurti School departs. At the very initial stages of this proposed project with the TVS Education Society (TVSES), all known details were shared and considered in the December 2017 GC meeting at which the GC authorized the administration to pursue the matter. As instructed by the GC, negotiations have been ongoing since that time. A full report of the current status will be available when the GC reconvenes in Naarden at the end of June.
3. “the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer do not have any legal authority to hold offices anymore. The Executive Committee too is defunct.”
This is pure conjecture unsupported by any fact. The legal determination of the High Court is clear.
4. “Bhojanshala, which offered a good quality of Indian food has been shut down and merged with the Leadbeater Chambers.”
Bhojansala was not “shut down”. The two kitchens – Bhojansala and Leadbeater Chambers (LBC) – were merged with the excess staff taking on responsibilities in other departments. The TS had been operating two separate kitchens with total staffing of approximately 10 persons in order to prepare three meals a day for 50 residents – all of whom did not utilize the kitchens for all meals. The arrangement was expensive and inefficient. Currently the food served at the LBC kitchen is all Indian style. Bhojansala is now used as the Indian canteen during Convention serving approximately 600 meals per sitting. The Karnataka Federation has taken on full responsibility for planning and serving convention delegates. It has been universally praised for its high quality, friendliness, and efficiency.
5. “The H.P.B. free Hostel has been shut down.”
The Hostel was closed over a year ago; renovated after more than 30 years; and will reopen with the beginning of the upcoming school year in June.
6. “The Laundry has been shut down.”
With a total of 51 residents (104 people including family members) the operation of the Laundry had become inefficient and needlessly expensive. For several years before closing the Laundry it was underutilized as residents increasingly chose to purchase and use their own washing machines.
7. “The Cattle Shelter has been downsized to 5 bullocks and more than 50 heads of cattle – cows and calves - have been gifted away (half to an individual farmer and half to a Cattle Shelter).”
First of all, there has never been a “Cattle Shelter” at Adyar. The TS has always used bullocks for Garden Department work, and to this day maintains 4 of them. More than 20 years ago Radha permitted the general manager at that time to bring a couple of cows to the campus. The foreseeable consequence was that by 2014 they had reproduced to a herd of 34, not 50 as claimed. As the TS is ill equipped, lacking knowledge and staffing for maintaining cattle, the animals were poorly tended. The herd was gifted to the care of facilities for the lifetime well being of the sacred cow.
8. “The Theosophical Publishing House is now down to a handful of persons, with the books being largely printed outside (not much is being printed there either).”
This condition mirrors TPH operations worldwide, as the publication industry has transformed since the TS's early days. Currently there is a process of revisioning the function of the TPH.
9. “Vasanta Press now only prints magazines and perhaps a book or two. It has been downsized to just a few people.”
In Annie Besant's time Vasanta press employed more than 100 people. By the mid 20th century, with the advent of newer, more efficient machines, staffing was reduced by more than 75%. With Vasanta's aging equipment and low TPH sales, for many years there has been no significant investment in the expensive equipment required for printing. Given the existing equipment, outsourcing the work has frequently been a less expensive option that produces a superior product in a greatly reduced time.
10. “The Olcott Memorial School had increased the number of classes to include 11th & 12th standards (grades), but in the recent years the number of students is now down to less than 375 and there is the distressing matter of downsizing the number of teachers also.”
Since its founding the Olcott School has provided a free education to children from the local fishing communities. As the Besant Nagar area has become an upscale and increasingly expensive neighborhood in Chennai, surrounding poor communities are being crowded out. This has affected enrollment. Also, at the time of the school's founding free education was unavailable. Today government schools universally fill that role. For the past several years the ratio of teachers to students has been approximately 1 to 10 – 1 teacher for every 10 students! This ratio is out of line with any normal standard. Even for private schools in India the ratio is 1 to 30, at best 1 to 25. Over time the school would like to move toward 1 teacher for every 20 students.
11. “It has been recorded in the last Business Meeting of the General Council that the Olcott School playground would be upgraded to a high standard. Since then this decision has also been shelved and the persons who offered to help have been communicated this decision.”
At the GC meeting in December 2017, the council was informed about a proposal from a private party to develop the Olcott School play area into a first rate football facility. The school would have had access to the facility, but its primary use would have been as a world class Indian football training facility. Currently in Chennai, with land values so high, many schools do not have access to playground facilities. For the Olcott School to have one would be a great benefit to the students, as well as a networking and financial asset. In consultation with some of the people negotiating the Damodar Gardens development with TVSES, it was determined that rather than accept the individual's proposal for a field over which the school would have only limited control, that the building of the football field would be negotiated as part of the Damodar Gardens development - for the sole control of our Olcott School.
12. “the Society has not received an exemption from Section 15(4) that governs the term of office of the President.”
The actual final exemption can only be given by the Tamil Nadu government. In the Registrar's order the Registrar himself recommended the matter to the government. It is now in process.
== == == ==
from Theosophy News
=== === ===
TIME TO SET RECORD STRAIGHT – UPDATED --
A document is in circulation world-wide which has inaccurate information which would lead the reader come to wrong conclusion.
Many who have been on Internet know me - M K Ramadoss also as MKR, a long time active participant in theos-l, theos-talk mailing lists as well as Theosophy News on Facebook and Twitter and theosophy.net.
In the document in circulation, my contacting Radhaji regarding the tax exempt status of TS Adyar in the USA is mentioned. TS-Adyar, Chennai (a foreign organization) had USA tax exempt status for many years and when the status did not show up in Government Datebase, I took the initiative to notify Radhaji so that it can be looked into and taken care of. I have a lot of expertise in USA tax exempt area and have helped many organizations in the USA as a volunteer not taking a single penny from any of them.
I have exchanged many letters with Radhaji since 1980s on various issues of concern regarding TS and every time she always sent me a reply. The letters were written to her because of the concerns about potential problems to TS and theosophy. She knew where I am coming from and understood my concerns. One time when there was a negative posting on theos-l mailing list about her and her family, I defended her (when no one else did) since the information in the posting was totally false. I even sent Radhaji a print out of the defence posting.
It was a great privilege that she stayed at my home when she visited San Antonio to Preside over Texas Federation Annual Convention. I have hosted many other well known TS leaders when they visited San Antonio.
Some disclosures are needed to clarify where I come from.
My connection with TS is long. I am a third generation Theosophist and grew up in a theosophical family and my parents were members of TS.
My great uncle Manjeri Rama Iyer was a well known associate of Annie Besant and C W Leadbeater and he even built a house in Adyar TS Estate and is named as Manjeri House.
When I lived in India, I was associated with five lodges in South India. In the USA, I have worked with four lodges in Texas over a period of more than forty years.
I am a volunteer for the cause of Theosophy and I am not running for any office nor have I taken a single penny of theosophy money directly or indirectly.
Internet platforms – theos-talk, Theosophy News on Facebook and Twitter, Theosophy Network on Facebook and theosophy.net are owned by The Theosophy Network International Inc., a non profit tax exempt corporation in USA.
My services to these forums are as unpaid volunteer and the corporation does not accept any money or resources from any organization, Trust or Foundation.
Hope this helps.
Fortunately, today Internet enables the individual instantly correct any erroneous information that is circulating. Hope this helps you to see where I am coming from.
M K Ramadoss, San Antonio, Texas, USA
=== THEOSOPHY NEWS ===