17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Phayul file photo)
DHARAMSHALA, May 21: A district court in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has cleared the name of 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje from a charge sheet filed in connection with the recovery of currency case last year.
The Una district court in a ruling Monday decided to drop all charges against the 26-year old Tibetan spiritual leader.
"After considering the plea moved by the prosecution to drop his name from the charge sheet, Judicial Magistrate Kanika Chawla in Una town has decided to remove his name,” District Attorney Ram Swaroop Sharma was quoted as saying by IANS
The court’s decision comes after the Himachal Pradesh Government in April recommended that the 17th Karmapa be cleared of any charges.
The state government had arrived at the decision after the police and the government lawyers thoroughly investigated all the charges and “found no real evidence to pursue a case against him."
In a release, Gyalwang Karmapa expressed his happiness that the charges have been “laid to rest by the Himachal Pradesh Government and through the judicial procedure of democratic India.”
“I am very grateful to the Government of India for giving me and hundreds of thousands of Tibetans asylum in this great country in our time of need. India has been my home for almost half of my life. Upholding the integrity of the historic relationship of our two countries is of utmost importance to me," the 17th Karmapa said.
The Karmapa Office of Administration once again reiterated that Gyalwang Karmapa has “never been involved in financial administration or monetary matters” of the administration.
“We are very relieved today and thank the Himachal Pradesh Government and court for this very judicious decision. We also express our deep gratitude to the many well wishers who have supported His Holiness during this ordeal," Karma Chungyalpa, deputy General Secretary for the Karmapa Office of Administration said.
The office has maintained 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 has been living in Dharamshala 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.