The state government argued in court that they had not brought "Rampal Maharaj" as he is unwell, but that did not wash with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which sternly said "the will to arrest him is lacking."
Ordering the government to produce Rampal by Friday, the court said, "We don't buy arguments that he is not well. The state government's inability to arrest him will allow even small time criminals to defy the law."
The 63-year-old spiritual guru has been hiding at his Satlok Ashram in Hihar's Barwala town, protected by a ring of armed followers and scores of women and children.
The government apparently planned to wait him out. Water and power supply have been cut off to the ashram and the government told court that it could survive "maximum one week", after which an arrest would be possible.
The self-styled godman has skipped court hearings 42 times since 2010, and sought exemptions repeatedly. He is out on bail in a 2006 case when his supporters opened fire on villagers, killing one and injuring several others in Rohtak.
The court last week rejected the Haryana government's plea that Rampal's arrest would cause law and order problems and ordered a fresh non-bailable arrest warrant against him.