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17th Karmapa cleared from currency case

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DHARAMSHALA, April 24: The Himachal Pradesh Government in a ruling today has decided to drop the name of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje from a charge sheet filed in connection with the recovery of currency case last year.

“The state government has decided to drop the name of Tibetan spiritual leader the Karmapa from the charge sheet filed in illegal foreign currency case on the recommendation of the Home and Law Ministry,” said an official of the Home Department.

The official further said the Himachal Pradesh government had directed Una’s District Magistrate K.R. Bharti to plead the case in this regard through the Public Prosecutor for deleting the name of Gyalwang Karmapa from the charge sheet.

“We have decided to drop all criminal charges against the Karmapa,” state Home Office official S.P. Singh was quoted by AFP as saying.

“The police and the government lawyers thoroughly investigated all the charges and found no real evidence to pursue a case against him,” Singh added.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, a senior official at the Karmapa’s office in Dharamshala said the Himachal government ruling was a vindication of their faith in the Indian legal system.

“From the very beginning, we expressed faith in the Indian legal system. We were confident that the truth would prevail,” the official said.

The Karmapa Office of Administration has maintained that the 17th Karmapa “has no involvement, direct or indirect, in the financial administration of the office or trust.”

They have further clarified that the money seized by the Indian authorities from the monastery represented unsolicited donations offered by the followers of Gyalwang Karmapa from around the world to enable the substantial social and spiritual programmes of the Karma Kagyu order.

The 17th Karmapa who turned 26 last year has been living in Dharamshala, northern India since he made a daring escape from Tibet in 2000 after Chinese authorities increasingly restricted his ability to travel and teach his disciples, and to receive transmissions from his lineage teachers.

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