The Supreme Court today said it will decide on self-styled preacher Asaram’s plea for early hearing of his bail application in an alleged rape case lodged in Gujarat.
“I will see to it,” Chief Justice Dipak Misra, heading a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said when counsel for Asaram said the hearing on the bail plea was earlier fixed after the Diwali vacation, but now it is shown listed on January 4 next year.
On October 26, the apex court had referred the matter to the Chief Justice’s bench after Asaram’s counsel had told the court that trial proceedings before the lower court in Gujarat was getting delayed and recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses was not yet complete.
The court had in August expressed anguish over the tardy pace of progress in the case and had asked the Gujarat government to file a progress report on it, asking it why the alleged victim had not been examined.
The top court had earlier rejected several bail pleas filed by Asaram.
The Gujarat government had told the court that two crucial witnesses were killed while one was missing and 17 others were injured in separate incidents of alleged attacks.
It had said that there were 92 material witnesses in the case.
On April 12, the apex court had asked the Gujarat trial court to expedite the recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses in the case lodged by two Surat-based sisters.
The two sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement among other charges.
The elder sister, in her complaint against Asaram, had accused him of repeated sexual assaults between 2001 and 2006 when she was staying at his ashram near Ahmedabad.
Asaram and his son have denied all the allegations against them.
Asaram, who is also facing a separate case in Rajasthan, was arrested by the Jodhpur Police on August 31, 2013 and has been in jail since then.
( Source – PTI )