Joint statement from the working groups of the RA on the current legal situation, the Emergency RAD and a response to the false information sent by [email protected]

Aug 19, 2022 | Organisation & governance, Resident Assembly, Self Governance, Statements by the RA and the Working groups

Dear friends,

The voice and central role of Aurovilians in the governance of Auroville has been recognised in the Madras High Court.

The Court in its judgment dated 12.8.2022 has reaffirmed that “under the Auroville Foundation, Auroville will be administered by the people of Auroville”, “to [the] benefit of the residents of Auroville who abide by the Auroville Charter” and that we are responsible for the development of Auroville with the supervisory guidance of the Governing Board and the International Advisory Council.

The Residents’ Assembly is one of the three authorities of the Auroville Foundation and it is not subordinate to the Governing Board and the International Advisory Council. It is instead an authority equal to the others, and all have to work on equal footing in a spirit of mutuality. All internal committees hold a responsibility of the Residents’ Assembly in the management of the day-to-day activities of Auroville, and these committees cannot be constituted without the Residents’ Assembly’s involvement.
For this reason, the judgment stated that appointments to the Town Development Council (TDC) without consultation of the Residents’ Assembly are invalid. Furthermore, the High Court recognized that the nomination and appointment of the Working Committee is purely an internal affair of the Residents’ Assembly and has declared invalid (quashed) the letter from the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of the Office of the Secretary of 6th May asking to stop all decisions and meetings of the Residents’ Assembly (on the ground that the Register of Residents was not updated).
Thus, the decision of the Residents’ Assembly of 10th May regarding the Working Committee and all subsequent actions are valid. The only legally recognized Working Committee is the one established through the Residents’ Assembly and not the one currently recognized by the Office of the Secretary. The full judgment can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wo_KB44HqkURSzeUXbdJKtypWSMzngmB/view?usp=drivesdk and summaries are being produced.

The calm strength and composure of residents throughout these difficult months has been a major contribution to winning the cases for the Residents’ Assembly. We have been able to demonstrate and stick to the ‘high ground’, continuing our collective work in the spirit of unity and it is essential we remain calm and equanimous against all acts of aggression or provocation at all times, now and always. We may need to be prepared for a marathon rather than a sprint regarding the current path of legal actions that we had to take in order to reaffirm the role and standing of the Auroville Residents as a whole, the Residents’ Assembly.

We invite you all, regardless of your opinion, to participate in the on-going Emergency RAD which follows the recent Court judgment. Please note that the proposed resolution (https://mailchi.mp/auroville/text-resolution-04-2022-1001050) is an operational decision, not a policy decision, as it is not deciding something new. It is to affirm what is already valid, recognising the ruling and directions of the Hon’ble Madras High Court in all matters, including updating the Register of Residents prior to new policy decisions being taken. We reject the false and desperate attempts that are being made by a few claiming otherwise.

We, the working groups selected by the Residents’ Assembly, are together in our commitment to uphold and harness the voice of the Residents’ Assembly and the richness of our diversity as we strive towards the Charter and The Mother’s Dream.

In service,

Working Committee, Auroville Council, Town Development Council, Funds and Assets Management Committee of the Residents’ Assembly