Expressing unhappiness at the failure of the Haryana government in producing self-styled godman Rampal before it, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday issued fresh non-bailable arrest warrants (NBWs) against him in a contempt case.
It also told the Haryana government to produce him in court by November 17, the next date of hearing.
The division bench of justice M Jeyapaul asked the state director general of police (DGP) and home secretary to execute the order against Rampal, head of Satlok Ashram in Hisar, by the next hearing or be present in the court.
The high court on November 5 had ordered NBWs against Rampal and National Social Service Committee (NSSC) president Ram Kanwar Dhaka in a contempt of court case.
Dhaka was produced before the court on Monday.
The court took exception to the authorities constituting a medical board to examine the health of Rampal without seeking its permission, terming the exercise as “tamasha” besides observing that the move appeared to be aimed at “outsmarting the court”.
Though, the government counsel maintained that the medical board was constituted to get information about his health passed on by his disciples.
The government also submitted that had it gone ahead with the order, there could have been a law and order problem leading to casualties as a large number of devotees were present at the Hisar ashram. It submitted that keeping in view the volatile situation they had sought additional force from the Centre, which they did not get.
Senior counsel Anupam Gupta, amicus curiae in the case, submitted before the court that the Hisar deputy commissioner had virtually exceeded the brief and nominated a team of doctors to assess the medical condition of the contemner. “There is, in fact, a lack of willpower on part of the state to arrest the contemner and produce him before the court. The status report smacks of collusion between the state and the contemner. For the indifference and scant respect shown by the state in executing the orders passed by this court, the DGP as well as the home secretary, Haryana, should be hauled up for contempt of court,” Gupta submitted before the court.
Later in the afternoon, in a written order, the court expressed its displeasure at the medical report and observed that it was not happy with the way the medical board was constituted, without its authority, to evade implementation of its directions. It said the civil authorities acted to save police authorities the blushes.
Telling the government to arrest him by the next date of hearing, the court said, “Rampal is under the wrong impression that he cannot be reached even by the long arm of law. When the majesty of law is browbeaten by a contemner, this court has the authority to direct the state machinery to employ its mighty force to reach the contemner to smoke him out even if he holes up in a bunker.”
The court also slapped a showcause notice on Rampal, asking him as to why his bail granted in 2008 in an alleged murder case, pending in a Rohtak court, not be cancelled.
The court ordered Dhaka to be present at each hearing of the case till the time he was exempted by the court.
Dhaka granted bail
Meanwhile, Dhaka, arrested on Monday morning, was granted bail after furnishing bonds of Rs 2 lakh.
In compliance with the high court order, Dhaka was produced before chief judicial magistrate Anubhav Sharma and released after furnishing the bail bonds.
Dhaka’s ‘rakhi sister’ Sushma, a government servant, stood surety for him. There was heavy security on the court premises when Dhaka was produced.
The NSSC was allegedly responsible for the ruckus in Hisar and Rohtak on July 14 and 15. On November 5, the high court had issued non-bailable warrants against Dhaka for disobeying its orders and had directed the Haryana DGP and the home secretary to arrest and produce them before the court.
The NSSC is an organisation run by followers of Rampal. It claims to be involved in social service. The organisation claims to provide security to Rampal.