Vakresvara Pandit das Decision Clarification
Posted August 23, 2005
Note of clarification in the sentencing of the Appeals Judges' Official Decision of Vakresvara Pandit das
August 16, 2005
The Appeals Judges' decision in the case of Vakresvara Pandit das upheld the previous CPO panel finding that he was responsible for sexual abuse of a minor. The judicial panel decided to amend the original sentence such that he need only follow the restriction for three years. The three year period would have ended on July 26, 2005. The decision was based upon the statement that "Vakresvara Pandit has already lived with this decision for three years."
Subsequent to this decision, the judges have learned that there is indisputable and overwhelming evidence that Vakresvara Pandit did not actually follow the restrictions until about a year before our decision. There are many witnesses to the fact that he led kirtans in May and June of 2004, including the New Vrndavana Festival of Inspiration and the New York Rathayatra, and later at the Vyas Puja of Bhakta Tirtha Maharaja. It is true that there may have been mitigating circumstances around these events, including invitation and encouragement from senior devotees, and procedural questions involving the enforcement of restrictions during the appeals process. Nevertheless, he had not followed the Official Decision restrictions until the last year. In keeping with the statement, intent, and spirit of the appeals decision we wish to clarify that the full three period of restrictions was intended to be met and must be followed. Therefore, the original restrictions, such as not serving in a position of leadership, not leading kirtan or giving class in an ISKCON temple, etc. should remain in effect until July 26, 2007.
Life time restriction will remain as follows:
"If the victim of Vakresvara Pandit dasa attends a function at an ISKCON temple Vakresvara Pandit is present, then Vakresvara Pandit dasa must leave the premises, unless the victim gives uncoerced permission for Vakresvara Pandit to remain."