Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking action against ashrams of 'self-proclaimed spiritual gurus'

ANI | Updated: Jan 20, 2021 14:16 IST

New Delhi [India], January 20 (ANI): Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a plea seeking action against ashrams run by 'self-proclaimed spiritual gurus', which have allegedly confined inmates, particularly women.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde said "it can't deal with such kind of matter", after which the petitioner withdrew the plea.
The Bench hearing the case said "how can it rely on that list? We don't know if the list was prepared after hearing them," when senior advocate, Menaka Guruswamy appearing for petitioner Dumpala Ramreddy, a resident of Telangana, said that 'Akhil Bharatiya Akahara Parishad' has prepared a list of 'fake babas'.
Reddy had approached the top court in April alleging that his daughter was confined in the Adhyatmika Vidyalaya Ashram at Rohini in Delhi founded by Veerendra Dev Dixit, who has been absconding since 2017 after being charged for raping a minor girl in 1999.
"The Central and state governments were not taking action against fake babas and were allowing such illegal ashrams to function, often from unauthorised premises," said Reddy.
The petition sought guidelines to be laid down to govern the establishment and functioning of such ashrams and to close down those run by people with criminal records.
He also cited a list released by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, a body of Hindu religious ascetics, declaring 17 babas including Veerendra Dev Dixit, Asaram Bapu, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Radhe Maa as fake religious gurus.
Reddy stated that even so, ashrams run by the 17 people, are continuing to function with thousands of disciples residing on their premises.
The petition also sought the evacuation of inmates from the ashrams in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The authorities are not verifying the facilities available in the ashrams and the ashrams are in very poor condition. They do not have basic amenities and conditions are very unhygienic", the petition said. (ANI)