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Home / Punjab / Ashutosh Maharaj clinically dead, not in illegal confinement: HC

Ashutosh Maharaj clinically dead, not in illegal confinement: HC

Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday made it clear that Ashutosh Maharaj, is clinically dead and is not in any illegal confinement as alleged by his ex-driver Puran Singh.

punjab Updated: Feb 05, 2014 23:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The status as well as medical reports submitted by the Punjab government on Wednesday to the Punjab and Haryana high court made it clear that Mahesh Kumar Jha alias Ashutosh Maharaj, spiritual head of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, Nurmahal (Jalandhar), is clinically dead and is not in any illegal confinement as alleged by his ex-driver Puran Singh.

Considering this, the court headed by justice MMS Bedi has now ordered the petitioner to clear his stand about maintainability of his habeas corpus (produce the body) petition by February 11, as the spiritual leader is clinically dead.

"Prima facie the petition of habeas corpus is legally not maintainable… Habeas corpus means to bring the body. Which body - live or dead? Now you have to satisfy how your petition stands," said justice Bedi to the petitioner's counsel.

The court's observations came when the counsel argued that the petition was filed as habeas corpus that required a warrant officer to ensure release of detenue (spiritual head) from illegal confinement.

Justice Bedi, after going through a report submitted in a sealed cover, said, "One Narender Singh, claiming himself to be authorised by Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, said he is of the firm opinion that Maharaj Ji is in deep 'samadhi' (state of meditation) in the freezer kept in the room."

In view of the state police's reports, justice Bedi also recalled his February 3 orders of issuance of notices to respondents Arvinda Nand, Soni, Narinder Singh and Vishala Nand, all residents of the Nurmahal dera, who as per the petitioner are responsible for illegal detention of the sect's head.

What police say

HPS Parmar, deputy superintendent of police, Nakodar, informed the court that in compliance of the court directions, he along with the station house officer, Nurmahal, and the duty magistrate visited the Sansthan on Tuesday. He informed that Ashutosh Maharaj was not in illegal confinement as alleged by the petitioner. Looking into the sensitivity of the case and religious sentiments, Parmar also submitted a status report of police station, Nurmahal, in a sealed cover.

Medical report

The medical report of three dera doctors, namely Ashok, Harpal Singh and Kartar Kaur, who attended to the spiritual head, declared him clinically dead at 2.15am on January 29.

As per the report, "Patient Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji had a sudden cardiac arrest at around 12.10am on January 29. Immediately CPR (resuscitation/recovery effort) was started… continued till the arrival of a medical team from Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana (with cardiac ambulance along with Dr Parminder Kumar Moudgil), which reached here at 1.45am."

The report further reads, "CPR was continued by the newly arrived medical team. As there was no return of spontaneous circulation, resuscitation measures were stopped at 2.10am. The patient was pronounced clinically dead at 2.15am on January 29 in consultation with all doctors."

However, a medical certificate signed by Satguru Partap Singh of Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, mentioned that when their ambulance along with Dr Moudgil reached the dera, "their (dera) medical team declared that Babaji was no more. Our ambulance and team came back".

What clinical examination revealed

All peripheral pulses were absent
Blood pressure was not recordable
No spontaneous respiratory movements
All superficial and deep reflexes were absent
Both pupils fixed and dilated
ECG record showed absence of any electrical activity