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Controversial godman Rampal does not appear before HC, says he is unwell

PTI 17 Nov 2014, 12:32:34 PM IST

Chandigarh: Controversial godman Rampal did not appear in Punjab and Haryana High Court today, the deadline set for his appearance in a contempt case, with his counsel saying he was "unwell" and pleading for more time to present him before the court.

The Haryana government, meanwhile, told the two-judge bench that it is taking steps to comply with the court order but it has to take every step carefully as a number of women and children were present in the godman's Satlok Ashram in Barwala in Hisar district.

The court reserved its verdict till afternoon today.

The High Court had on Monday last pulled up the Haryana government for failing to produce the godman, against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued recently in a contempt case.

It had set a deadline of today for his production.

Rampal's counsel S K Garg told the bench, comprising Justices M Jeyapaul and Darshan Singh, that the godman was "unwell" and not in a position to travel from Barwala to here.

"He is unwell... We are not avoiding court appearance. He has been appearing on past occasions. Give us some time, once he feels better, he will appear," the counsel told the Bench.

On behalf of the state government, Home Secretary and the DGP appeared before the court. Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan told the court that the state was taking steps to comply with the court order.

He pleaded that since a number of women and children were present at the Satlok Ashram in Barwala, where the godman is present, the police and administration had to take every step carefully.

With regard to the issue of cancellation of Rampal's bail in the 2006 murder case, the bench posted the matter for tomorrow asking the defence counsel to file their reply by then.