Furnish CID report on taxidermist's assets: SC

Furnish CID report on taxidermist's assets: SC

 The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Karnataka government to furnish a CID inquiry report into the alleged defrauding of more than Rs 500 crore worth properties of world-renowned Mysuru-based taxidermist Edwin Joubert Van Ingen.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked advocate Joseph Aristotle, appearing for the state government, to bring the enquiry report on record by April 18.

The court passed its order on a plea by advocate Sanjay M Nuli, representing Tilly Gifford, who identified herself as the niece of Van Ingen. The court also said the status quo, already ordered, on the properties including the world famous landmark 'Bissal Munti House' at Mysuru, and 220 acres of plantation and wildlife trophies of the taxidermist, would remain in operation till the next date of hearing.

The CID inquiry was ordered into the matter, when a plea by Michael Floyd Eshwer, who claimed to be an adopted son and thus the legal heir of the properties, was pending before the Karnataka High Court for quashing an FIR registered against him by Van Ingen with Mysuru's Nazarbad police station on March 2, 2013.

Van Ingen, who died a bachelor at the age of 101 on March 12, 2013, had lodged the FIR against Eshwer alleging cheating, fraud and forgery after he realised that some of his properties were allegedly taken over by Eshwer. Subsequently, the high court had on June 19, 2014 not only quashed the FIR at the preliminary stage of the investigation on the compliant but also directed the state government for restoration of possession of the ‘Bissal Munti House’, and 220 acres of plantation and wildlife trophies of the taxidermist with Eshwer.

Gifford challenged the high court order contending that the properties cannot be transferred in the accused’s name without permission from the RBI since Van Ingen was a Briton.

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