Plea for FIR against Math vice-chairman

The High Court on Friday asked the State government to express its views on a writ petition seeking a directive to register a First Information Report (FIR) against Swami Amritaswarupanandapuri, vice-chairman of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Kollam, on the basis of allegations of sexual exploitation levelled by Amritanandamayi’s former aide Gail Tredwell alias Gayatri in her book. Justice K. Ramakrishnan adjourned the hearing on the petition by two weeks after asking Advocate General K.P. Dandapani to get instructions in the matter.

In his petition, Supreme Court lawyer Deepak Prakash said he had informed the SI of Karunagapally in Kollam, about the contents of the book through e-mail after it went viral in social media. In her book ‘Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness’ she had alleged “sexual exploitation and promiscuity among senior ashram residents.”The contents of the book had revealed “commission of a cognizable offence including rape”. The police officer replied that he would not register an FIR until he gathered sufficient evidence.

The petitioner said the Criminal Law amendment Act 2013 prescribed a minimum of 6 months’ imprisonment to the police officers who failed to register an FIR/case on a complaint of sexual offences. The petitioner sought a directive to the police to register an FIR and probe the allegation.