Forgery on Gopabandhu’s Will: Cuttack District Judge Office looks like its breeding bed! Orissa High Court should look at it

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Article 227 of the Constitution of India has given the power of superintendence over all the Courts of a State to the State’s High Court. Therefore, I urge upon the High Court of Orissa to look at what has happened in the office of the Cuttack District Judge in the matter of the State’s most precious document – the last Will of Utkalmani Pundit Gopabandhu Das. The said office of judiciary looks like a breeding bed of forgery.

People’s faith in judiciary will be lost if influential persons freely tamper with or replace an original Will with forged ones and/or escape law by using the fake/forged Will in legal forums by projecting the same as the certified copies thereof granted by the District Judge.

The offense is too serious to be ignored

 I have discussed in these pages why I suspect that Gopabandhu’s last Will has been suppressed or destroyed by Radhanath Rath, a servant of Gopabandhu, who thereafter had eventually grabbed the editorship of his co-founded paper -The Samaja – after manufacturing a forged Will of Gopabandhu with the help of Lingaraj Mishra; and how the Servants of the People Society (SoPS) has taken over the Samaja to its ownership by using the same forged Will.

In order to reach the reality, I had tried to legally obtain a certified copy of Gopabandhu’s Will, projected as probated by the District Judge of Cuttack in Misc. Case No. 42 of 1928. I had filed the application for the certified copy on 21 August 2013, which was registered as Copy Application No. 353A.

As the same did not fetch any result till 7 April 2014, despite meeting the District Judge in his chamber several times, the President of Utkalmani Newspaper Employees Association Sri Deviprasanna Nayak, deeply affected by the question raised in these pages over authenticity of ownership of Samaja, in order to know the truth, used RTI to know of the whereabouts of the Probated Will of Gopabandhu.

In answering to the RTI query, the Asst. Public Information Officer-cum-Sheristadar, District Judge Court, Cuttack has informed that “the Will of Pundit Gopabandhu Das probated in Misc. Case 42/1928 is not available” as the said Will “has been sent to the Office of the District Judge, Berhampur and received by the Sheristadar of the said Office on 02.04.1936.” After release of this RTI information, I was informed by the Dist. Judge Office that my application for copy of the Will has already been rejected on finding that the same is not available.

This information makes the situation more intriguing, as I have found out in course of research that the same office of the District Judge, Cuttack has issued a certified true copy of the probated Will on 9.1.1996 to an applicant, which has been used in a case. We have located, at the typing stage of this copy, there was attempt to tamper with the text. When either the Comparer or the Certifying officer located the tampering, the same was undone by applying white paint on the intentionally and wrongfully typed portion and thereafter, on the white paint, the correction, as per the text of the probated copy of the Will preserved in the records of the District Court, was inscribed.

When the Will is “not available” in the office of the District judge, Cuttack since 2.4.1936, as it has been “sent to the Office of the District Judge, Berhampur and received by the Sheristadar of the said Office” on that date, because of which my application dated 21 .08.2013 for a certified copy of the Will has been rejected in April 2014 after at least a 8 months long search, how could the said District Judge issued a stamped certified copy of the Will on 9.1.1996, bearing the attempted tampering and correction therein?

Was it then manufactured in the District Judge Office?

This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa, along with who had tried to tamper with the text thereof, which had been foiled by the District Court.

A further point that deserves attention is that, on 20.9.1930, a copy of the forged Will was generated in the Cuttack District Judge office with rubber stamps of the Court affixed thereon, with notes discernible on its page that says, the same is copied to Book No IX at Serial No.15.

The rubber-stamped copy does not carry the signature of the District Judge who granted the probate.

When this rubber-stamped copy shows that it was “filed on 15th December 1928 and was prepared on 20.9.1930, another copy of the Will, used by the SoPS as certified copy of the Will in the High Court of Delhi, shows that the same was probated on 7.9.1929 and copied on 28.2.1954.. If the Will of Gopabandhu is not available in the Office of the District Judge, Cuttack since 2.4.1936, where from this so-called true copy dated 28.2.1954 also emanated?

More intriguing is the fact that the tampering attempted on 9.1.1996 on the copy of the Will tallies with the copy of the forged Will dated 28.2.1954 filed by Servants of the People Society before the Delhi High Court in Suit No.152/96.

Radhanath Rath was ruling the roost in the Samaja in 1996. He knew that he and Lingaraj Mishra had forged the Will, He also knew that, the forged copy of the Will he was using, was not a stamped certified copy, therefore, has no evidentiary value. But having benefitted so immensely by using the forged Will, he was not daring to tell the Delhi High Court that the copy of the Will placed before it by the SoPS was not the copy of the probated Will, even though SoPS was using that copy of the forged Will against him in Suit No. 152/96.

On the other hand, SoPS had manufactured the copy of the forged Will on 28.2.1954 to meet the requirement of Audit Bureau of Circulation for membership. Establishment of ownership was necessary to become a member of ABC. But the forged copy of the Will that Rath had procured in 1930 was not traceable at that time. Therefore, on 28.2.1954, the forged copy was again manufactured from the handwritten copy of the forged will preserved by Rathanath Rath. It tallies eith the handwritten copy of the forged Will published later in Samaja on 7.7.1986.

In his last part of life,Rath not only handed over the Samaja management to his son-in-law Padarabinda Mohapatra, but also handed over editorial responsibility to his daughter Manorama Mohapatra by arranging her induction into hierarchy of SoPS through manipulations. This ignited conflict between him and the SoPS. He knew that Gopabandhu had never given the samaja to SoPS. It was he and Lingaraj Mishra who had forged the will to grab the Samaja under cover of SoPS. So, he dissolved the Board of Management of Samaja which the SoPS had created. SoPS challenged him in the Delhi High Court using the forged copy of the Will Rath had created on the solid assumption that Rath cannot challenge the said Will in that Court.

But, the SoPS also knows that copy of the Will it had filed in the Court was a copy of the forged Will. Elsewhere in these pages, it would be seen that after death of Gopabandhu, SoPS had asked Lingaraj Mishra to take over the Sayabadi Press as per the Will of Gopabandhu. The Executive of SoPS had not asked Mishra to take over Samaja, because it was known to it that Gopabandhu had not bequeathed to it the Samaja as it was common a common venture of Satyabadi Panchasakha and spiritually the property of the people of Orissa. The handwritten copy of the forged Will published in the Samaja of 7.7.1986 has notes on its margin about implementation of the Will. When it is noted against Para 6 containing Gopabandhu’s desire to make over the Press to SoPS the margin note says that the Press is made over against receipt, there is no note on the para 7 that contains the forgery. So, SoPS is unambiguously conscious of the forgery Rath and Lingaraj Mishra had done through the copy of the Will they had manufactured. Yet, it had submitted the forged copy of the Will manufactured on 28.2.1954 for use in ABC membership as a document in its case against Radhanath Rath assuming that the forgery shall not be exposed by Rath as he himself was its architect.

Yet, the fact that this forged copy was not in stamp paper but in plain paper with rubber stamp of the court illegally used, was making the plentiffs fidget. SoPS was apprehensive that the Delhi High Court, while hearing the case, may insist upon production of the Certified Copy on stamped paper. So, a fresh attempt was made to generate a copy of the forged Will on a stamped paper. After obtaining an order for the certified copy, SoPS had gained over the Court typist to prepare the copy on stamp paper with court fee affixed from copy of the forged Will in their hand and get it stamped as certified true copy. But to dismayof SoPS,the certifying officer compared the typed copy with the copy of the probated Will preserved in the Book IX at serial 15 and found the foul play. The typist had to apply white paint on the text so wrongfully typed and then on that white paint, had to type the true version of the probated Will as copied to Book IX. Then the corrected copy was authenticated.

This authenticated copy could have exposed the forgery of the Will in the copy SoPS had submitted in the High Court and could also have led to punishment for the crime of forgery. Hence the certified stamped copy was abandoned by SoPS and landed in our hand during research.

High Court of Delhi could not reach the stage of examining the document filed by SoPS including the forged copy of the Will dated 28.2.1954. When SoPS was reluctant to expedite the hearing of its case lest the forgery be known, to its great relief Radhanath Rath died. On 1.5.1998 it filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking leave not to press the case as Rath had died and the SoPS had come to compromise with other defendants. Thus they have avoided punishment for using a forged Will and have been using the same forged Will to continue their illegal grip over the Samaja.

This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa.

In course of our investigation we have also found that the Will of Gopabandhu was probated on two different dates – 20.9.1930 and 7.9.1929 in the same probate case bearing No.42/1928?

How this was possible is a question the High Court of Orissa should look into.

It is baffling that the probate order dated 7.9.1929 covers a Will that it mentions as “Amend Will”.

Pundit Gopabandhu had died after dictating his Will to Radhanath Rath, as per eye-witness accounts of Pundit Nilakantha Das. The Will probated on 20. 9. 1930 as per stamped certified true copy dated 9.1.1996 is written by Lingaraj Mishra. Yet again, the Will probated on 7.9.1929 is written by the same Lingaraj Mishra. How could the District Judge in the same 42/1928 case grant probate to the “Amend Will”, when the Will filed on 15.12.1928 was kept pending till 20.9.1930?

This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa.

The point to be noted is that, if at all the Will probated on 7.9.1929, was the Will dictated by Gopabandhu in his death bed, he had not amended the will after his death. So the “Amend Will” doesn’t deserve any credence. Was it real and really probated? This question needs be looked into by the High Court of Orissa.

Both the avatars of the Will being not the same, the District Judge office of Cuttack has played the role of a breeding bed of forgery, at the behest of its beneficiaries – Radhanath Rath, Lingaraj Mishra and Servants of the People Society.

This is a serious offense against the people of Orissa.

The High Court of Orissa, being the Court of superintendence, should immediately take cognizance of this matter and institute a time-bound inquiry to find out the truth and to take action against everybody- alive or dead – if forgery is ascertained and to ensure that the people of this State are not left in the lurch to bear with judiciary’s suspected role in forgery of this type.

This is really urgent.

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Annul Padma Bhushan given to former Editor of Samaja: Civilian Awards are not accommodative to felonious misconduct

WHEN TWO FORMER MINISTERS AND LEGISLATIVE HEAVYWEIGHTS INDULGE IN FORGERY, THE ISSUE DESERVES SERIOUS ATTENTION. HERE THE FORGERS ARE RADHANATH RATH, THE BASIC OFFENDER AND LINGARAJ MISHRA HIS PARTNER.

BY USING A WILL PURPORTED TO BE OF ORISSA’S IMMORTAL HUMANITARIAN LEADER, UTKALMANI PANDIT GOPABANDHU DAS, BOTH OF THESE FELLOWS HAD GRABBED EXCELLENT MEDIA POWER BY BECOMING EDITORS OF ‘THE SAMAJA’ OF WHICH UTKALMANI WAS A CO-FOUNDER.

RATH EVEN FETCHED A PADMA BIBHSHAN DECORATION AS EDITOR OF THE SAMAJA.

AS THE FORGERY WENT UNNOTICED, USING THE FORGED WILL, SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE SOCIETY FOUNDED BY LALA LAJPAT RAI, HAS ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED THE PAPER AND HAS BEEN SWINDLING ITS REVENUE, OPPRESSING THE JOURNALISTS AND NON-JOURNALIST EMPLOYEES OF THE SAMAJA BY WAY OF UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES.

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

PADMA BHUSAN is the third highest civilian award given by Government of India “for distinguished service of high order”. Radhanath Rath, then editor of ‘The Samaja’ was decorated with this award in 1968 for journalism in the category of ‘literature and education’. But as I have already shown, his entry into journalism was based on severe moral turpitude and felonious misconduct. He had grabbed ‘The Samaja’ by creating a forged Will of its founder, the late lamented Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das and had he not done so, becoming the paper’s editor till breathing his last could not have been possible. Therefore, if dignity of journalism is to be honored, and “distinguished service of high order” is to remain the criteria for Padma Awards, the central government should order for an immediate investigation into Rath’s role in the creation of the forged Will of Pandit Gopabandhu to grab ‘The Samaja’ under cover of Servants of the People Society (SoPS) and take necessary steps to punish him posthumously which should include annulment of the civilian award given to him; because, the national civilian awards are not meant to be belittled by being accommodative to severe moral turpitude and felonious misconduct, after howsoever belatedly they are known.

The President may cancel and annul the award of the decoration to any person under Rule 10 of Notification No. 3-Pres/55, which constitute the disciplining part of the ‘Statutes and Rules relating to the awards of Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri’. So, the President should initiate action in this regard without any delay. We are ready to cooperate with any enquiry, if constituted, to find out the facts.

In these pages, I have several times discussed why Gopabandhu’s Will in use by the occupiers of ‘The Samaja’ looks like a forged one . As time passes and our research proceeds, footprints of forgery becomes more discernible and Radhanath Rath emerges more unambiguously as the basic offender in forgery of Gopabandhu’s Will, calling for annulment of PADMA BHUSHAN awarded to him.

Will Forged

In my earlier article captioned “Prof. Nilakantha Rath sponsors his father’s forgery; claims to have discharged a debt” (orissamatters.com, February 15, 2014), I have quoted the eye-witnessed accounts of Pandit Gopabandhu’s closest friend and patron Pt. Nilakantha Das who in his autobiography has said that in his presence Radhanath Rath was taking the dictation of the Will from pandit Gopabandhu.

But the Will on basis of which SoPS has wrongfully occupied ‘The Samaja’, is written by Lingaraj Mishra.

Obviously the Will is circulation as written by Lingaraj Mishra is not the Will taken dictation of by Radhanath Rath.True, Lingaraj had made the final copy of the Will out of the draft taken dictation of by Radhanath oblivious of the unuthorised insertion, as pointed out earlier, therein. That final copy was probated. But that probated Will is in no use. Rath and Mishra had been and their co-offenders in SoPS are using a document, purported to be the Will of Gopabandhu, generated through a Sheristadar in Cuttack District Court, in matter of the Samaja.

If the one, Radhanath Rath had taken dictation of, the fair copy of which made in the hands of Lingaraj Mishra was probated was the real Will, the one in circulation as written by Lingaraj Mishra is undoubtedly the forged Will. Over this forgery, Pt. Nilakantha had many altercations with Radhanath and the later’s loyal protege Udaynath Sarangi, despite having suppressed the facts about why Pt. Nilakantha was in contretemps with Rath, has noted that the two co-founders of the Samaja Pt. Nilakantha and Pt. Godavarish  were rejecting Rath’s claim that the Samaja was given away to SoPS by Gopabandhu in his Will (Gandhimaharajanka Shishya, p. 195).

Nilakantha on Will of GopabandhuI am reproducing here below the photo copy of Pandit Nilakantha’s eye-witness accounts from his autobiography (Atmajivanee) published in the compilation of his works (Granthavali) for proper appreciation of this position:

When here Pandit Nilakantha has clearly mentioned that it is Radhanath Rath, who was taking dictation of the Will from Gopabandhu, the same having been published in 1963, the said Radhanath Rath had never objected to this eye-witnessed accounts anywhere at any point of time, had he not really taken the dictation of the same.

It is not that the Atmajivanee of Pt. Nilakantha was not in the knowledge of Rath. This particular work had bagged the Sahitya Academy Award for Nilakantha and got profuse publicity in the Samaja of which Rath was the Editor at that time.

mahamanishi nilakantha

Rath, in the capacity of President of SoPS and Editor of ‘The Samaja’, had patronized publication of above pictorial life-sketch of Pandit Nilakantha titled ‘Mahamanish Nilakantha’ on occasion of his death anniversary on 6th Nov.1985, wherein the publication of his Atmajivanee in 1963 is displayed.

So, Rath had certainly known that Nilakantha has written that in his presence “Radhanath Rath had taken the dictation of the Will of Gopabandhu.  In that Will Gopabandhu had gifted away the Press (Satyabadi Press) to Bharat Sevak Samaja (read SoPS). Radhanath was free to challenge this eye-witness accounts and countered it by saying that it was Lingaraj, not he, who had taken the dictation, when Nilakantha was alive. But he did it never. Because he knew that Nilakantha’s accounts on writing of the Will to Gopabandhu’s dictation was correct and it was impossible on his part to deny that during the life time of Pandit Nilakantha.

He was a mere low-paid employee of Gopabandhu. In the death bed also, Gopabandhu had used him as his paid employee by giving the dictation of his Will to him only. Nilakantha had seen it in his eyes. In Nilakantha’s views or in eyes of any of his close friends, who, with Gopabandhu were known as Panchasakha (five friends), had ever acknowledged Rath as one of them or an associate. But by patronizing the publication of ‘Mahamanish Nilakantha’, he ensured his projection as “old associate of Gopabandhu and Nilakantha”.

And, only after death of Nilakantha, he could dare to publish what he called “exact photocopy” of the “last Will dictated by Pandit Gopabandhu Das” in ‘The Samaja’ of 7.7.1986, showing Lingaraj Mishra as writer of the Will, which is a fake Will, manufactured to grab ‘The Samaja’ having facilitated Rath’s entry into SoPS. Here is that published “exact photocopy” of the so-called Will.

ALLEGED LAST WILL OF GOPABANDHU

We shall deal with this matter later again.

But instantly let us see further evidence of how this published Will was fake and recreated by Radhanath in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra, on a specific ground.

I am going to give photocopy of the depiction of Gopabandhu’s last moment from a book written and published by Radhanath Rath himself on 1st January 1964.

ulkalmani biography written by r.n.rath

version of radhanath rathThe book is titled “Late Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das A Short Life-Sketch”.

Rath had written and published it in the capacity of Editor, “The Samaja” and Member Servants of the People Society, Orissa Branch, Cuttack. Here is the photocopy of the extract:


In this he has suppressed who took the dictation. But has clearly said that Gopabandhu “constituted the ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ into a Trust and appointed the Servants of the People Society” as the trustee”.

In the Will published by Radhanath Rath in the Samaja on 7.7.1986 and used by SoPS in legal forums dose not contain these words. If really had Gopabandhu constituted ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ into a “trust” and “appointed” SoPS as the “Trustee” thereof, in the Will dictated “in the presence of his colleagues and friends”, the same is totally absent in the content of the Will in use. So, the Will in use is a forged Will,  which Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra have created by gaining over a Sheristadar of the court of the District Judge, Cuttack.

But in creation of the forged Will by Lingaraj Mishra, Radhanath Rath was the basic offender. If he knew that Gopabandhu had constituted a “Trust” comprising ‘The Samaja’ and the ‘Satyabadi Press’ and “appointed” the SoPS as its “Trustee”, how could he publish and project the SoPS as “owner” of ‘The Samaja’, unless he had deleted the “Trust” and the “Trustee” matter from the Will before handing over the same to Lingaraj Mishra for production of the fair copy?

I will come to the dubious and treacherous character of both Radhanath and Lingaraj in course of discussion. But let me go to some other speaking evidences of falsehood of the Will in use.

The Will in use shows that Gopabandhu had made over the charges of both the ‘Satyabadi Press’ and ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS. It is wrong. Gopabandhu had never made over the charge of ‘The Samaja’ to SoPS, because he knew that The Samaja was a collective venture of the Panchasakha – he and his four friends – Pandit Nilakantha, Pandit Godavarish, Pandit Krupasindhu and Acharya Harihar, who were, as and when necessary, editing and bringing out ‘The Samaja’ and to keep the paper afloat as a medium of socio-political awareness in Orissa, had willfully separated the accounts of the Satyabadi Press, transfering the same to Gopabandhu’s ownership. So, it was within the legitimacy of Gopabandhu to made over the charge of the Satyabadi Press only to SoPS, under the stipulated condition that income of the Press must be spent for betterment of the Vana Vidyalaya (Satyabadi School); not the charge of The Samaja. By virtue of being the eye witness thereof, Pandit Nilakantha had rightly written in the Atmajivanee (quoted supra) that Gopabandhu gave the Press only to SoPS (inadvertently mentioned as Bharata Sevak Samaja). That, Nilakantha’s version is correct, is established by the relevant records of SoPS that I am going to give below –

SoPS asks Lingaraj to take over the Press only

This is the resolution dated 8.6.1931 of SoPS, officially translated from Hindi on 22.1.1996, for use if possible in law suits. In the last para of this resolution, Sri Lingaraj Mishra “was authorized that on behalf of the Society he should accept the press according to the will of late Pt. Gopabandhu Das from the executors of the will”. There is no mention of ‘The Samaja’ in this resolution. This makes it clear that the Will in use is never the Will Pandit Gopabandhu Das had dictated.

After forging the Will, the forgers duo – Radhanath and Lingaraj – de facto occupied “The Samaja’ and hoodwinked the remaining founders of the paper – Pandit Nilakanth, Pandit Godavarish and Acharya Harihar – in the matter of the paper’s ownership. When Radahanath Rath continued as Manager, in some of the copies – never made public so as to avoid attention of the remaining founders of The Samaja’, a false ownership was being clandestinely inserted in the printers line to make out a case for future projection of SoPS as the owner. The then leadership of SoPS was perhaps hand-in-glove with the forger duo in this mischief.

I am giving below photocopy of the last page of The Samaja dated 2.1.1936 that shows Lingaraj Mishra as the Editor, Radhanath Rath as the Manager and a ghost like Peoples Ltd, Lahore as the owner.

Samaja printerline 2.1.1936

If at all Pandit Gopabandhu Das had made over the charge of ‘The Samaja’ to the Servants of the People Society, how could it be that the duo gave “The Peoples Ltd, Lahore” the ownership status in the printers line?

They have never explained this and none of the founders of ‘The Samaja’, who were alive by that time – Pandit Nilakanth, Pandit Godavarish and Acharya Harihar – have ever mentioned anywhere in their writings about “The Peoples Ltd, Lahore” owning the paper that they had unitedly founded, suffered for and possessed.

Looking from any angle into the matter, one gets convinced that Radhanath Rath, the greatest beneficiary of ‘The Samaja’ was a fraudster, who, in nexus with Lingaraj Mishra, had created a forged version of the Will of Gopabandhu with the sole purpose of hijacking the Samaja.

As I have already shown earlier in the article captioned “Even the District Judge Office made a breeding bed of  forgery”, this forged Will having no legal entity, as it was not probated but merely authenticated by a Shreistadar, attempt were made obtain a Certified Stamped Copy by changing the text of the probated Will at copy-typing stage to suit the nefarious purpose of Rath. When the attempt failed, a backdated one showing transfer of both the Samaja and the Satyavadi Press to SoPS by way of that Will, was manufactured on the desk of a Sheristadar behind back of the District Judge and  used by Radhanath Rath to his personal benefit under the cover of SoPS.

As this exposure is well documented, I hope the authorities will wake up to calling issue and institute an investigation into the felonious conduct of Radhanath Rath and make the President annul the third highest Civilian Award given to him in a misguided state, even though that would be posthumous.