Punjab guru's body to remain in freezer, says HC

Wednesday 12th July 2017 07:46 EDT

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court has decided that the body of a spiritual guru who died in January 2014 will remain in freezer for now. The decision has been welcomed by his disciples who believe he is in a deep state of meditation and will soon return to life. Founder of multi-million dollar sect, Diyva Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, Ashutosh Maharaj's body is currently in a commercial freezer at his heavily-guarded 100-acre ashram in Punjab. He is believed to have died of a cardiac arrest.

The court took the decision, dismissing a three-year-old petition by Dalip Kumar Jhan, who claims to be Maharaj's son and wants to get his body and cremate him. Jha's lawyer said that it remains unclear whether or not the court approved the sect's argument of Maharaj being alive. “But they dismissed our petition which is disappointing and we will challenge it in the Supreme Court.” The court also cancelled a 2014 judgment ordering his cremation after doctors confirmed him clinically dead.

The previous order was challenged by his disciples who said he had simply drifted into a deeper form of meditation, something he often did in sub-zero Himalayan temperatures. The sect was established in 1983 and boasts millions of followers across the world and properties worth an estimated $120 million in India, the US, South America, Australia, Middle East, and Europe. Jha and the guru's former driver Puran Singh filed petitions in court soon after his death, demanding a criminal probe and alleging that the sect members were deliberately holding his body to retain control of his vast financial assets.

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