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Plea seeking shutting down of Ashrams run by fake babas: Supreme Court asks Solicitor General to look into what government can do

The petitioner says that the inmates at as many as 17 ashrams run by these fake babes have unhygienic and jail-like conditions, which could heighten the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into what the government can do as regards the closing down of Ashrams run by fake babas and spiritual leaders, particularly in National Capital. (Dumpala Ramreddy vs Union of India and Ors.)

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices R Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna posted the PIL after two weeks while asking Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the issue of Ashrams run by fake spiritual leaders and babas and the closure of these.

This petition is filed by a resident of Secunderabad, who is seeking for his daughter and many other women to be rescued from ashrams run by fake spiritual leaders, and for such ashrams to be shut down.

The petitioner says that the inmates at as many as 17 ashrams run by these fake babes have unhygienic and jail-like conditions, which could heighten the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

It is suggested that the condition of inmates in such ashrams should be considered by the Court, as it did when it come to the release of prisoners for decongesting jails. The petition states,

"... considering the urgent prevailing situation due to spreading of Coronavirus in the country particularly in places where social distance is not maintained such as the illegal Ashram i.e., Adhyatmika Vidyalaya at Rohini in Delhi and 16 other Bogus Ashrams set up by Bogus Babas, Petitioner prays for the intervention of this Hon’ble Court for the rescue of the Women / persons in the Ashrams."

The petitioner states that the government has failed to take action against such ashrams run by the fake babas even after the Apex Body of sages released a list declaring 17 babas as fake in 2017. This list included big names such as Asaram Bapu, Gurmeet Ram Rahim and also another rape accused Veerendra Dev Dixit.

The petitioner's daughter has been lodged at the ashram run by Dixit since 2015. Dixit, the petition points out, has been declared as an absconder three years ago.

The petitioner has, therefore, prayed for direction to have the ashrams run by the fake babas vacated "including the Adhyatmika Vidyalaya at Rohini in Delhi, which is having hundreds of women inmates in unhygienic conditions to avoid spreading of Covid 19".

Additionally, a direction is also sought for the authorities to ensure that a register of all inmates at all religious ashrams is maintained and for authorities, to lay down guidelines as regards setting up of spiritual and religious ashrams across the country.

Read Order:

Dumpala Ramreddy vs UOI - 08.07.2020.pdf
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