July 31st 1997- Gangtok Sikkim.
Trustees of the Karmapa Charitable Trust filed a civil suit before the
District Court of East and North Sikkim against the state of Sikkim and
Gyatsab Rinpoche, to restore the status-quo of Rumtek Monastery as it
existed before August 2nd 1993 and to conduct and inventory of the Rumtek
properties to determine whether the possessions of the 16th Karmapa have
been preserved and protected or not.
October 17th 2001- Following arguments form both sides, the District
Judge passed a directive ordering the regional director of the Reserve
Bank of India, Calcutta India to conduct an inventory of the properties
of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa. Both Parties to the lawsuit were ordered
to be present.
March 11th 2002- Gyatsab Rinpoche challenged the court's order
before the high court of Sikkim. He argued that were an inventory to take
place, law and order problems would break out. Gyatsab Rinpoche also argued
that the performance of an inventory would amount to an act of religious
sacrilege. The high court of Sikkim refused to entertain such an argument
and scheduled a full hearing on the issue for May 17th 2002.
On March 15th 2002 Gyatsab Rinpoche directed a meeting of the organization
known as the "Denjong Lahdey Tshokpa" in Sikkim. The meeting
was attended by the Chief Minister of Sikkim, as well as the Advocate
General. In a speech before the gathering, the chief minister of Sikkim
assured the crowd that he would again do everything in his power to bring
Urgyen Thrinley to Rumtek by May 26th 2002 as the Joint Action Committee
had requested him, but that it was in the hands of the Central Government
to decide. He also pointed out that it was not in his power to change
the court's decision. The Chief Minister then publicly requested the Advocate
General Sonam Phuntsok to represent the State Government and handle the
March 20th 2002- Gyatsab Rinpoche and his advisors came before
the high court of Sikkim to request postponement of the date of the hearing
from March 22nd 2002 to May 17th 2002. Gyaltsab Rinpoche also argued that
if an inventory were to take place it would cause a blood bath in Rumtek.
The court judge refused Gyaltsab's Request for any postponement.
April 22nd 2002- Gyatsab Rinpoche took his request for a postponement
before the Supreme Court of India where once again it was turned down.
On April 29th 2002 Gyatsab Rinpoche came back before the High Court of
Sikkim with a similar plea and was refused. On May 17th 2002 the court
heard the case wherein Gyatsab Rinpoche requested further time to prepare
his arguments, and the court was adjourned and rescheduled for June 18th
It should be noted that on two occasions, both in 1994 and 1995 Gyatsab
Rinpoche and his supporters had written to the state government of Sikkim
requesting just such an inventory of the 16th Karmapa's Rumtek properties.
It should further be noted that the Karmapa Charitable Trust in mid 1998
presented this case to the courts and that on October 17, 2001 the court
issued the order of conducting an inventory. The court gave this order
after having rejected all arguments presented by the state of Sikkim and
Gyatsab Rinpoche.To this date  no inventory has been conducted due
to the constant counter- suits that have been filed on behalf of the supporters
of Orgyen Trinley Dorje. To members of a transparent and democratic society
such actions are in themselves indicative of suspicious or guilty behavior.
With nothing to hide, an inventory carried out by a neutral party should
present no threat whatsoever to the innocent. This illogical protection
of what has been touted, as legal and rightful ownership should present
no threat whatsoever to those within their legal rights. So why are they
stalling? What is missing? This is the same behavior that occurred when
Situ Rinpoche's "prediction" letter was requested to undergo
a forensic test.
Gyatsab Rinpoche is party to further suits by a group known as the "Tsurphu
Labrang" This suit is due to come before the District Court of East
and North Sikkim in Gangtok. This lawsuit would decide whether the court
will allow this body to become party to civil suit No.40 or not.