Delhi High Court: Steps Needs To Be Taken Absconding Self Styled Godman And Head Of Rohini Based Ashram

The Delhi High Court in the case Dumpala Meenavathi And Anr. v. Union Of India And Ors observed and has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation in order to take steps to arrest, who being self-styled godman and Chief of a Rohini-based ashram, who being absconding and he has been declared a proclaimed offender in the case of sexual exploitation.
The Division bench comprising of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad in the said case was hearing the plea moved which is related to the living conditions of women at the ashram.
Further, it has also been directed by the CBI to take further steps for arresting Virendra Dev Dixit as he is still absconding by taking all possible appropriate measures. The bench stated that the CBI to file a fresh status report in the matter.
The court in the case observed that it was being brought in the notice of the court that Dixit or his followers have been uploading various videos on at least the six YouTube channels and the social media handles and that a large number of videos were being uploaded since the month of March 2018.
The court in the case observed and has noted that the another important aspect in the matter being was the existence of large number of ashrams throughout country which is connected to Dixit. It has also been stated that the CBI in the case is required to investigate who being the owner of such ashrams, from which accounts the funds that are being released towards payment of rent to owners of ashrams and documents which being on the basis of which properties are let out to the residents. The court in the case stated that it has been directed by the CBI in order to conduct further probe in the matter.
The court while going through the records and the various reports filed from time to time in the matter, thus, the court stated that the respective authorities will be under an obligation to enquire whether the provisions of Religious Institutions i.e., the Prevention of Misuse Act are being violated or not.
Last Year, the court in the month of April had asked the retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi in order to supervise a committee constituted by it for the welfare of ashram’s women inmates. The committee in the case was also being asked to assess their physical and mental health.
It has also been stated by the said court in the case that the committee shall be free to take assistance of medical doctors, psychiatrists and other experts to make an assessment of the physical and mental well being of the inmates.
Therefore, the bench in the case observed that women and children are a vulnerable class and thus, some vigilance is being required in order to keep a check on the functioning of such institutions.
It has also been ordered by the High Court in the year 2017 that the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the alleged illegal confinement of women and minors in the ashram after hearing a PIL moved by NGO.

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