Dec. 9 : In a landmark judgement, a federal court in Chicago recently overruled a 1966 court decision that stopped an offshoot organisation from using the Baha'i name. The Chicago court judges, while criticising the 1966 ruling, said that it was a wrongful means of trying to resolve a question of religious authority. The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the 1966 decision does not apply to the different sects of Baha'i.
Sameer, a Member of the International Bahai Council and Chairman of the newly constituted National Bahai Council of India, said that the attempts of the Haifa- based mainstream Baha'i faith to shut down the public teaching effort and close down all the websites and publications of the Baha'is, under the provisions of the Covenant, have been thwarted with this ruling.
One of the most important outcome of the ruling is that it has put aside all questions regarding religious organisations having any right to trademark its names or icons.
This comes as a major boost to the 1,44,000 strong followers of the Baha'is under the Provision of Covenant in the United States. They believe that the mainstream Baha'i faith has strayed from the religion's original teachings.
"The abrogation of the original order has freed us from their "marks" and the 6-66 injunction is upheld. We are free to go forward with our path and plans to further advance the Baha'i faith, headed by the third guardian Neal Chase, the Covenant appointed" said Mr Sameer.