The Delhi High Court on Friday 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 to be present before it on January 4, the next date of hearing.
Here are things to know about Virendra Dev Dixit:-
-Virendra Dev Dixit is the founder of the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya
-This Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya North Delhi’s Rohini area
What court said?
-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.
During the hearing, the court also questioned the spirituality imparted at the ashram and the claim of its lawyer that the women and girls were there on their own free will. “It is a strange setup where hundreds are lodged in closed confines. Where is the concept of free consent or spirit when you are not allowed to meet family or friends or wear what you want to or cannot go out when you want to?”
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.
The observations by the bench came during the hearing of a PIL by NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment, which informed the court that several minors and women were allegedly being illegally confined at the spiritual university here and were not allowed to meet their parents.
Moved by the issue, the high court immediately set up a committee, comprising lawyers and Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, to inspect the premises of the institute.
The committee, comprising lawyers Ajay Verma and Nandita Rao, gave a report detailing the horrible living conditions of the over 100 girls and women who were housed in animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing.