The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday adjourned the hearing on pleas challenging a single-judge order on last rites of Ashutosh, the sect head of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS), for April 20, but took Punjab government to task for seeking adjournments.
As the hearing began on Friday, state additional advocate general Reeta Kohli sought adjournment citing unavailability of solicitor general of India Ranjit Kumar, who was to appear on the state’s behalf. She also told the court that in view of change of guard in the state and new advocate general taking over, she would seek fresh instructions.
Miffed, the high court division bench presided over by justice Mahesh Grover observed that as every now and then adjournments were being sought by various parties, the dispute would never reach its final conclusion. The bench also observed that it appeared state was not acting in an “impartial manner” and had not been able to clear its stand on the issue.
The advocate for petitioner Dalip Kumar Jha, who claims to be son of Asutosh, has completed his arguments. Those appearing for the dera and others have also completed their arguments, but the government has been seeking time for the past more than one month citing unavailability of the solicitor general.
Ashutosh was declared clinically dead on January 28, 2014, and since then his mortal remains are lying in a freezer on the dera premises in Nurmahal (Jalandhar).
It was on December 1, 2014, that a single-judge bench had asked government to perform last rites within 15 days.