Punjab

Ashutosh Maharaj issue: HC pulls up Punjab government

By Jasjeet Singh

August 03, 2016

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Punjab government for not taking any decision about Ashutosh Maharaj’s issue. The court said that when the sect head is “clinically dead” then why the state government was not taking decision. Ashutosh is the head of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, Nurmahal in Jalandhar district. The sect head head’s body is in freezer for the last two years.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Mahesh Grover and Justice Dr Shekher Dhawan directed the Punjab government to take decision or be ready for arguments during the next hearing. The court made it clear that if the government diid not take any decision then the court will issue directions. The court was hearing a petition of Dalip Jha, who claims to be the son of Ashutosh Maharaj alias Mahesh Jha.

The petition will now come up for hearing on September 16. It may be recalled that a single bench had directed the Punjab government to cremate the body of Ashutosh Maharaj within 15 days in accordance with due religious rights almost a year ago. The court had stated in the order that the sect head had died a natural death. The court had made it clear that the body would be kept with respect and dignity, and would not be displayed for any other purpose except for “last darshan” of persons claiming to be his relatives, friends or followers, a subject to public order and morality.