Published On : Sat, Nov 7th, 2015

Austerity of Jain monk astonishes Gujrat High Court on personal appearance

He wants 8 months’ time to appear in court, because he will have to walk down from Kolkata to Ahmedabad, 2,200 kms
HC orders the trial court to take appropriate steps for a criminally accused person
Jain monk is facing criminal charges on ‘Bal Diksha’

Gujrat High court
Ahmedabad/ Nagpur:
Practising of austerity was witnessed when a Jain monk astonished Gujarat high court on Friday with his plea seeking eight months’ time to be able to appear in the honourable court because it would take a long time to walk from Kolkata to Ahmedabad because as per Jain traditions he could not travel in a vehicle.

The court said that it was unprecedented request on part of the monk and he must not forget that he is an accused in a criminal case. The Jain monk Acharya Kirtiyash Surishwarji Maharaj along with five others is facing criminal prosecution at a metropolitan court for allegedly publishing a forged government notification, which favoured the practice of luring children to renounce the world, Bal Diksha. In his appeal for cancellation of a warrant issued against him to remain present during the proceedings, the monk had argued that since he is 2,200 kilometre away from city and he could not walk more than 10-12 km per day due to his ill health, he should be granted eight months to report to the court.

Justice J B Pardiwala of the high court, who called for abolition of the practice of Bal Diksha and refused to drop charges against the monk, expressed dismay at the proposal. He lamented the demand because it had hindered court proceedings. “I am told that he has made a very unreasonable and unprecedented request to the trial court to adjourn the case. Whoever may be the person, he should not forget that he is an accused in a criminal case. He is obliged in law to remain is obliged in law to remain present before the trial court. If the accused persons do not remain present, then it is open for the trial court to take appropriate steps in accordance with law to secure their presence by a bailable warrant or a non-bailable warrant,” the court order reads.

The court made this observation while granting police protection to the complainant’s lawyer Nitin Gandhi, who complained of undue harassment. The court said, “It is very depressing to note that now the supporters of accused persons have started harassing advocates also.” Earlier, the HC ordered police protection for complainant in this case.