Was the editing of Sri Aurobindo’s Epic of the 1993 edition disputed in court? If so, what was the outcome?
A brief chronology of the principal court cases relating and objecting to the 1993 edition of Savitri and other allegations of tampering of Sri Aurobindo’s works by the Ashram:
1. Petition filed by Bijan Ghosh in the Supreme Court of India on 20 Jan. 1999 asking for an ex parte interim stay order, etc.
Petition dismissed on 8 Feb. 1999 by Justice S.P Bharucha and R.P. Sethi.
2. Petition filed by Supradip Roy in the Calcutta High Court on 3 March 1999 with the same demands as the petition dismissed by the Supreme Court and containing several pages copied verbatim from the petition filed by Bijan Ghosh even after it was dismissed and Supradip Roy not revealing to the Calcutta high Court that a replica of his petition has already been dismissed by the Supreme Court earlier.
Petition dismissed on 20 April 1999 by Justice Tarun Chatterjee and S. K. Tiwari.
3. Suit for temporary injunction and permanent injunction filed by Marjana Guha before the Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.), 1st Court, Krishnagar. Marjana Guha is the sister of Bijan Ghosh who had filed the petition earlier in the Supreme Court.
a. Suit for ex-parte temporary injunction rejected on 5 July 1999 by S. Roy, Civil Judge
Appeal rejected on 7 Sept. 2000 by P.L. Dutta, District Judge, Nadia.
Appeal to Calcutta High Court rejected on 4 Dec. 2000 by Justice Tarun Chatterjee.
b. Suit for interim injunction rejected on 20 Jan. 2001 by the Civil Judge, Krishnagar.
Appeal rejected by Kalpana De, District Judge, Nadia.
c. Entire Suit itself dismissed on 17.09.2005 by Civil Judge (Jr. Divn.), Krishnagar.
4. Complaint filed by Anil Ghose before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore.
Cognizance taken of the alleged offences on5 Aug. 1999.
Summons issued on 7 Aug. 1999 to 11 accused members of Sri Aurobindo Ashram to appear in Alipore Court on 10 Sept. 1999.
Interim order staying the proceedings granted on7 Sept. 1999by Calcutta High Court.
Stay order vacated on 19 Dec. 2001 by Justice Amit Talukdar, Calcutta High Court
Charges framed on 28 Aug. 2002 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore, under sections 468/420/120B of the Indian Penal Code (forgery/cheating/conspiracy)
Charges quashed on 23 July 2004 by Justice P.K Biswas, Calcutta High Court.
Order of quash by The Calcutta High Court challenged in the Supreme Court in November 2004
Supreme Court dismisses the petition to challenge the quash order passed by Calcutta High Court and confirms the quash order passed by the Calcutta High Court.
5. A petition filed on 16th May 2001 in the Delhi High Court by Anil Ghosh, his brother Debkumar Ghosh and one Dilip Agarwal acting as representative of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Inmates’ Association. The lawyer appearing for them is Bijan Ghosh, who had first filed the petition in the Supreme Court which was dismissed on 8 Feb. 1999.
This case was dismissed in the year 2007.
All the courts that were approached systematically concluded that there was no wrong-doing on behalf of the editors and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. It is clear that the allegations of wrong-doing and tampering were completely unfounded. The critics of the 1993 edition of Savitri have certainly no basis to complain on these grounds.
Those who are still engaged in the propagation of the allegations of wrong-doing and tampering are clearly interested in keeping alive the myths and falsehoods surrounding this issue.