SC allows 'darshan' to 'Save Ganga' crusader followers

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed followers of 'Save Ganga' crusader Prof G D Agarwal alias Swami Gyan Swaroop, to have 'darshan' and pay their last respect to the environmental activist, who died after undertaking 111 days of hunger strike in Uttarakha

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed followers of 'Save Ganga' crusader Prof G D Agarwal alias Swami Gyan Swaroop, to have 'darshan' and pay their last respect to the environmental activist, who died after undertaking 111 days of hunger strike in Uttarakhand.

His body was retained by AIIMS, Rishikesh since his death on October 11, as he had pledged it for organ donation and teaching purposes.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi interacted with AIIMS' associate professors Mrinal Barua and Vivek Mishra to devise a “middle-path” saying Swami's followers could be allowed to visit Rishikesh campus, in five batches of 10 people each on every Sunday.

The court said maximum 500 people would be allowed to pay their respect for 10 Sundays, since on week days, his body was being used for teaching purpose.

"This can safeguard sentiments of followers without causing any damage to the body, being kept for teaching and research purpose," the bench, comprising, Justices K M Joseph and Hemant Gupta, said.

Last Friday, the top court stayed a Uttarakhand High Court order to hand over the body of Swami Gyan Swaroop to 'Matri Sadan' for 76 hours, in order to allow his followers to pay their last respect to the deceased.

The top court had passed its order within hours of the high court's direction after considering the matter.

The high court's order was passed on a plea by Dr Vijay Verma, a follower of Swami Gyan Swaroop. The AIIMS had declined to allow Swami's followers to pay their last respect to the departed soul, except permitting the family members to see the mortal remains.

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SC allows 'darshan' to 'Save Ganga' crusader followers

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