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Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to take steps to arrest absconding self-styled spiritual preacher, Virender Dev Dixit of Rohini-Ashram, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in a sexual exploitation case.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to take steps to arrest absconding self-styled spiritual preacher, Virender Dev Dixit of Rohini-Ashram, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in a sexual exploitation case.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “The CBI is directed to take further steps for arresting Virendra Dev Dixit as he is still absconding by taking all possible appropriate measures. Let the matter be called after six weeks. Let CBI file a fresh status report in the matter”.
The court was hearing pleas related to the welfare of women living in Rohini Ashram founded by self-styled spiritual preacher Virender Dev Dixit.
During the hearing, the bench was apprised that Dixit or his followers have been uploading videos on YouTube channels and social media handles since March 2018.
Taking note that despite CBI's best efforts, it has not been able to arrest Dixit to date, the bench stated, “CBI can investigate further to initiate the process for a letter of request under section 166A of Code of Criminal Procedure to UK, Nepal and places from where the videos are being uploaded”.
Notably, in October 2022, Court directed the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya, a spiritual ashram in Rohini founded by self-styled spiritual preacher, Virender Dev Dixit, to get itself registered under the Women and Children’s Institutions (Licensing) Act, 1956. During the hearing, Kiran Bedi had submitted two written submissions before the bench, and stated that the report submitted was crisp and sharp, and based on strong evidence.
In April 2022, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla expressed grave concern on the issue and directed a committee to be formed to supervise the functioning of the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya, which has been in the news for allegedly committing human rights violations against its 162 female inmates. The Court came to a prima facie view that the women of the ashram seemed indoctrinated and appointed Kiran Bedi to supervise and overlook the ashram's activities. The Court also directed the Delhi Government to oversee the activities of the ashram and to make sure that the inmates are not mistreated.
Case Title: Dumpala Meenavathi and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. (a batch of petitions)
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