HC turns down ‘indecent’ tag in Radhe Maa case
The judges questioned as to why a criminal PIL was raised for non-registration of complaint. (File photo)
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday orally observed that allegations made against self-styled godwoman Radhe Maa in a petition filed before it cannot be termed as indecent behaviour.

“Whatever allegations have been made, strictly speaking, can’t be termed as indecent behaviour,” said a bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi. The court is hearing a public interest litigation by advocate Falguni Brahmbhatt alleging obscenity by Radhe Maa and police inaction on her complaint. The Dharm Rakshak Maha Manch has also intervened supporting the PIL.

Brahmbhatt’s advocate Ashok Saraogi argued that the indecency claims should be seen in the context of the religious gatherings in which the activities are done. “They call people for mata ki chowki and there these things happen,” he said. But the judges pointed out that the allegations state that it happened inside a bungalow. When Saraogi countered by saying that all prostitution rackets are carried out inside bungalows and yet the police go and carry out raids, the bench said action in such cases is taken under section 110 (behaving indecently in public) of the Bombay Police Act.

Referring to Radhe’s Maa satsangs and darbars, Saraogi said, “When I go there I’m required to face something obscene.” To this, Justice Kanade retorted, “Don’t go.” Saraogi thereafter pointed to the publicity around these events that draw unassuming people to them. 

Radhe Maa’s advocate Abaad Ponda raised questions on why a criminal PIL was raised for non-registration of complaint. The judges echoed the same view.

When the state has asked two weeks to reply, the judges granted only a week saying no further time will be given.