A day after a woman moved the Madras High Court, alleging illegal detention of her daughters in the Isha Yoga Foundation, Coimbatore, the court on Friday dismissed her plea, relying on the statements received from the women confirming that they are staying at the centre on their own volition.
A Division Bench of Justices S. Nagamuthu and V. Bharathidasan however, gave liberty to the parents to meet their daughters in the Foundation, without causing any disturbance to the peaceful atmosphere of the centre and with due intimation to the management.
When the habeas corpus plea of Sathyajothi came up for hearing, the government advocate submitted the report of the Coimbatore Principal District Judge (PDJ) as directed by the High Court on Thursday. After perusing the report, which included the statements of Geetha, and Latha, the Bench said, “The PDJ has categorically mentioned in his report that there is no truth in the allegation and that the detenues are staying at the Foundation on their own will.”
Noting that as of now no material is on record to believe that they are under illegal detention in the Isha Yoga Centre, the Bench said, “Prima facie, we are satisfied that they are staying on their own wish, and hence no relief can be granted as prayed in the petition.”
According to the petitioner, Geetha (34) and Latha (31), who now go by the names ”Maa Mathi” and ”Maa Mayu” have been forced to stay in the yoga centre against their will.
Geetha was a former employee of Sheffield Hallam University, England. After her marriage broke up in 2008, she started attending yoga classes organised by Isha foundation.
Later Latha also joined the Foundation and both became full-time workers in 2013. The petitioner alleged that the management of the Foundation, after coming to know about the financial status of their daughters, had exerted influence and pressure on them to enrol as full-time workers.
Claiming that she was not allowed to contact or meet her daughters for over a year, the petitioner prayed for a direction to the police officers concerned to produce the women before the court.