The Punjab and Haryana high court, on Thursday, adjourned the hearing on the two petitions filed by Dalip Kumar Jha, who claims to be Ashutosh’s son, and Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS) against the December 1 order on the last rites of the sect head, to Monday.
Both the petitions came up for hearing before the division bench of justice Surya Kant, who posted the matter for Monday.
Meanwhile, Punjab government filed an appeal before the registry of the high court against the December 1 order, a day after it was rejected on technical grounds. All the three petitions are to be taken up on Monday.
As the hearing started on Thursday morning, Satya Pal Jain, representing the DJJS, informed the court that two appeals on the December 1 order in the case were listed for hearing before the bench while the third party, the Punjab government, had also filed its appeal.
Upon this, the bench decided to postpone the matter till Monday as the case could not be heard on Friday when the court takes up matters of special benches. Jain asked the court to pass an order for maintaining status quo in the case but the court refused to do so without hearing all parties.
Contention of various parties
Jha has challenged the December 1 order, terming it “erroneous” and has asked to claim the mortal remains of the Nurmahal dera head.
DJJS, in its appeal, has argued that courts were not competent to distinguish between a naturally dead body and a body in samadhi (deep meditation).
They have also argued that it was not pleaded before the court whether Ashutosh was dead or not and the court had gone beyond the scope of the pleadings. Both the parties have also contended that the court did not give them sufficient time to file an appeal against the December 1 order.
As for the Punjab government, it has contended that the implementation of the December 1 order could create a law and order issue as the matter was related to the belief of a large number of people.
The government has also argued about its role in the cremation, stating that its role comes into play if the body is unclaimed. It has also asked about the mode of disposal, saying the order given on the issue was vague.
On December 1, the high court had constituted a committee led by the Jalandhar district magistrate and directed it to cremate Ashutosh within 15 days. It had also directed the government to oversee the compliance of the order.
The bench of justice MMS Bedi is also to hear the DJJS petition on putting its order in abeyance for 30 days, on Friday.