Attorney General’s Office asks Court to reject the deal. A Brooklyn courtroom was filled with Krishna devotees this past Wednesday for a hearing on a petition asking the Court to allow the Brooklyn Hare Krishna temple to be sold. The petition was filed by Ramabhadra Dasa, the former president of ISKCON Brooklyn. New York Assistant Attorney General Abigail Young appeared in court to oppose the petition, as did attorneys for the ISKCON GBC, for a renewed, GBC-supported temple board, and for members of the congregation.
For the sale of a place of worship, the State of New York requires Court approval. Typically, the seller first seeks approval from the State’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG). If the OAG approves, the Court it likely to approve as well. But on September 26 the OAG notified Ramabhadra that after nearly two years of back and forth, it had declined, once and for all, his request for OAG approval. If you want to pursue the sale, the OAG told him, you will have to take your request to the Court. That is what Ramabhadra chose to do. In late October he filed his petition with the Court, asking approval for the proposed sale.
On Wednesday the attorneys for the GBC and for members of the congregation filed with the Court their responses, outlining their many reasons why permission for the sale should be denied. Some fifty or more New York devotees packed into the courtroom to show support for keeping the temple in its present location. Advocating the sale, only four now-removed members of the temple board showed up: Ramabhadra Dasa, Adi Deva Dasa, and their wives. (They were accompanied by two lawyers.)