Working on arresting absconding ‘godman’ Virender Dev Dixit: CBI to Delhi HC
New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it is working on locating and arresting self-styled godman Virender Dev Dixit, who has been absconding for several years while facing multiple rape cases.
The court, which had last time, had expressed satisfaction with the attempts and progress made by CBI in the matter, continued to praise the agency’s efforts.
As the division bench of Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna perused the probe agency’s status report, it observed that the CBI was making “earnest efforts” to comply with the court’s directions.
The status report was filed in a sealed cover, and the court was told that the accused seems to be outside India.
“We will arrest him soon. We have taken help of Interpol,” CBI’s counsel told.
The court then also asked the investigating agency to file a fresh status report.
Earlier, the high court had granted the agency permission to freeze the bank accounts of Dixit.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma (now elevated to SC) and Justice Sanjeev Narula had expressed satisfaction with the efforts made by the CBI to locate and apprehend Dixit.
A petition was filed in 2017 by NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment, which alleged that Dixit had illegally confined several minor girls and women at his “spiritual university” and that the girls were not allowed to meet their parents.
The agency had identified certain bank accounts linked to the fugitive. The court had commended the CBI’s ongoing efforts and allowed them to proceed with freezing the bank accounts in accordance with the law. It granted the CBI an additional six weeks to continue their actions and listed the matter for next hearing in November.
On May 31, the court had directed the CBI to take steps to apprehend Dixit. It was brought to the court’s attention that Dixit or his followers were uploading videos on various platforms, including YouTube and social media, despite him being a fugitive.
The high court had instructed the CBI to locate Dixit and investigate accusations of illegal confinement, with reports indicating that girls and women were being kept in inhumane conditions behind metal doors within a fortress-like ashram surrounded by barbed wire. In 2022, the court had asked the ashram to justify why it should not be taken over by the Delhi government and expressed doubts about whether the inmates were living there voluntarily. It had said that no institution had the right to violate the fundamental rights of its inhabitants.