The Delhi High Court today directed the police to immediately inspect an institute in north Delhi where girls and women were allegedly kept in illegal confinement, dubbing the situation "similar" to that witnessed in Gurmeet Ram Rahim's ashram in Haryana's Sirsa.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that it was "extremely dangerous" that girls and women have been allegedly kept in illegal confinement in the name of preaching about God.
Without making any direct references of Ram Rahim or the Dera Sacha Sauda sect led by him, the bench said similar activities were going on in Sirsa, whose chief was recently handed down a 20-year jail term for raping two women disciples.
"This issue is similar to the situation faced in Sirsa, where the girls and women were illegally confined," the bench said.
It directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to depute a senior police officer, not below the rank of DCP, to conduct an inspection of the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya today in Rohini here.
The bench ordered that the inspection should be video- graphed and Delhi Commission for Women's chief Swati Maliwal should also accompany the police.
It further said that the Delhi Police's standing counsel Rahul Mehra should personally coordinate with the police officials and ensure that the three girls, whose parents moved the court, be produced before it tomorrow.
The bench further directed Virender Dev Dixit, referred to as the founder and spiritual head of the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya at A-1/351-352, Vijay Vihar, in North Delhi's Rohini to cooperate with the police during the inspection drive.
Dixit has been arrayed as a party in the petition filed by an 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 are not allowed to meet their parents.
It informed the court that a couple had lodged a rape complaint with the police, but no FIR had been registered till date.
The NGO has alleged that girls have been in confinement at the institute for 14 years and more.
While producing one girl in the court, who, the NGO claimed, had managed to get out of the premises in question, it alleged that she was raped during her stay there, which she has not even disclosed to her parents.
The NGO also alleged that girls confined at the institute have committed suicide in the past, but police never registered a case in this regard.
To this, the bench asked the police to place a status report and issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government seeking their response.