Friday, March 31, 2023

Delhi High Court appoints Kiran Bedi to supervise committee formed to probe affairs in Virendra Dev Dixit ashram case

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A committee was constituted by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday to look into the affairs of the ashram of absconding Godman Virendra Dev Dixit, under the supervision of IPS officer Kiran Bedi

The acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla said that the committee was constituted to make sure that no female or child is subjected to any treatment which may amount to breach of their fundamental rights. The reason this committee was formed is to ensure welfare of masses that are vulnerable.

The former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi has agreed to supervise the committee that would include concerned district judge or their nominee, the local District Magistrate (DM), the DCP  ( Crime against Women cell), Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, one nominee of the Delhi Commission for Women and a district officer of the Women

The district judge shall be the Chairperson of the committee whereas the district officer of the Women and Child Development Department will be the Convener.

Swati Maliwal, the Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women was not in favor of Bedi as she believes that Bedi had fought against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Court rejected the request, saying that her inclination towards any political party does not take away her service to the society.

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Justice Sanghi said

“Let us leave politics aside for some time. Please give some credit to her (Bedi) for her sense of the cause. Just because she has inclination towards one political party does not take away her service to the society,” 

The Court also promised to provide committee to inspect the premises where these women were kept in inhumane conditions and to interact with the inmates freely on a regular basis.

The records of the institution with respect to the inmates who have joined it from time to time shall also be made available for inspection.

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The Court has given a free hand to committee for consulting doctors and mental help workers to see and check the development of these people and to check if they are in sound health both body and mind.

The committee has been directed to submit its reports on a monthly basis.

Virendra Dev Dixit, was a follower of Brahma Kumaris, who later came up with his own foundation called Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya, he is accused of confining women and sexually exploiting them.

The self-acclaimed Godman (read demon) and his ashram came into controversy in December 2018 when police  rescued  40 women Rohini where his ashram is. Since then, Dixit has been on the run. The case is now being dealt with by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Also Read: Hijab Case: Supreme Court agrees to list appeal in two days

The Court has has also instructed the Government of Delhi and Centre to keep a tight vigil in Ashrams that are mushrooming.It also said that the government should strictly enforce provisions of the Women’s and Children’s Licensing Act, 1956 and the rules framed thereunder apply to the institutions like ashrams,

The case will now be considered on May 27

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