Ashutosh’s death: Judge says courts rely on facts, proof

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 12, 2014 18:43 IST

Hearing petitions questioning the justification of keeping the body of Ashutosh Maharaj, spiritual head of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) of Nurmahal (Jalandhar), inside the deep freezer for over eight months, the Punjab and Haryana high court made it clear on Thursday that the courts relied only on proven facts, evidences and law, and not on hypothesis.

Justice MMS Bedi was responding to the explanation given by the spiritual head’s disciples, present in the court that the spiritual head is in “voluntary suspended animation” and at present all energies had gone out of his body which showed him clinically dead. But sooner or later those energies would return and he would come out of samadhi (deep meditation).

On January 29, sansthan doctors had declared Ashutosh Maharaj clinically dead, after which the sansthan management had kept the body inside a deep freezer, saying the spiritual head had gone into samadhi.

When the court asked the disciples whether they had knowledge of biology and how body functioned, they answered in affirmative saying that in this case “it is a science of sciences and there have been much research on it”. On this, justice Bedi said he himself is a postgraduate in science, adding, “One is science which has been proved and one is just which you think.”

Justice Bedi, however, said, “I am also a religious person and know divine energy has some force. I am trying to understand about the spiritual energy you are trying to explain.”

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A disciple submitted, “Even Shirdi Sai Baba was in samadhi for three days that led to confusion among the police and administration. But after that he came out of the samadhi…We have seen him (Ashutosh Maharaj) going into such a state earlier for three days, and again for a week. So this concept will be clear when he comes out of samadhi.”

On being questioned by the court as to whether there were such examples in other parts of the world where a person had revived after remaining in such freezing conditions, the disciples submitted that researchers across the globe had made several studies on Indian yogis and they say the body has to be preserved in zero temperature.

But when specifically asked to cite an example of a samadhi wherein a person kept in a freezer had come out alive, the disciples did not have a suitable answer, as per the court.

After hearing the arguments for over an hour, the court posted the case for Friday.

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