Gwinnett Hindu Leader Defamation Case Dismissed

December 28, 2009

Author: Andria Simmons

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Fulton County judge last week dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by the controversial leader of the Hindu Temple of Georgia and awarded $11,000 in attorney fees to the opposing side.

The decision is the latest blow to the temple's self-proclaimed guru, Annamalai Annamalai, who goes by the title Dr. Commander Selvam.  The temple filed for bankruptcy in September. Its building and nine-acre property at 5900 Brook Hollow Parkway in Norcross were auctioned at foreclosure this month after the temple defaulted on a $2.3 million bank loan.

Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams on Dec. 22 dismissed the case against Gita Kotecha and Basant Tariyal, two leaders in the local Hindu community who made comments critical of Annamalai on a Fox 5 news broadcast in August 2008. The defendants claimed that Annamalai -- who charges fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars for prayer services and horoscope readings -- gives Hindu priests a bad name and does not represent the Hindu faith.