Delhi HC tells CBI: Trace Rohini ashram's founder
Delhi High Court also noted that the ashram does not have legal status as it is neither a registered society as per the law nor a trust or company
The Delhi High Court yesterday directed the CBI to trace the whereabouts of the founder and spiritual head of a north Delhi-based ashram, being probed by the agency for allegedly confining women and girls like "animals in a cage". A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said Virender Dev Dixit, the founder of the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya in North Delhi's Rohini area, to be present before it on January 4, the next date of hearing.
Police personnel take away girls rescued from the Spiritual University at Rohini in New Delhi . Pic/PTI
The bench also asked the committee appointed by it to inspect eight other similar centres being run by Dixit in the national capital after the existence of these places was brought to the court's attention. It directed that the committee, comprising Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal and advocates Ajay Verma and Nandita Rao, be provided protection by the police and ordered the people running the centres to cooperate and not obstruct the inspection.
The bench also noted that the ashram or vidyalaya, which it claimed to be, did not appear to have any legal status as it is neither a registered society as per the law nor a trust or company. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said it was "for the first time we are seeing an ashram where only minor girls are being kept confined".
"You expect us to close our eyes to this and treat this as normal? What kind of spirituality is it when people are kept confined as animals in cages? We do not understand it. "Where is the concept of free consent or spirit when you are not allowed to meet your family or friends or wear what you want to? You keep someone under your control for decades, then there it is not free consent. It is a strange set up that hundreds are lodged in closed confines," the court said.
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