Supreme Court dismisses Asaram Bapu’s bail plea in sexual assault case in Gujarat

The Supreme Court Monday dismissed the bail plea of self-styled preacher Asaram Bapu in connection with a sexual assault case lodged against him in Gujarat.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, that the trial in the case was going on and 210 witnesses were yet to be examined.

The bench, while dismissing the bail plea, said the lower court will proceed with the trial and will not be influenced by the prima facie observations given by the Gujarat High Court earlier while dismissing Asaram’s plea.

Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai accusing them of rape and illegal confinement among other charges.

Asaram Bapu found guilty of rape of teenager in 2013

Asaram was today found guilty + of the rape of a teenager in 2013, ruled a special trial court today in its verdict. Of the total five accused, three – including Asaram – were convicted, and two were acquitted.The verdict was pronounced from Jodhpur central jail where Asaram is lodged. This move was due to the fear of adverse reactions from Asaram’s followers, and a repeat of the violence that followed the verdict in the Gurmeet Ram Rahim case case last August.

“Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment,” said the father of the rape survivor.

“We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary,” said Neelam Dubey, Asaram spokesperson, after the verdict was announced, to ANI news agency.

Asaram, who’s been in jail since August 31, 2013 + , was accused of sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The girl, who’s from Uttar Pradesh, was living in the ashram as a student. She alleged that Asaram called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013.

Asaram, who’s said to be 77 currently, was charged under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Over the course of the trial, Asaram unsuccessfully moved 12 bail applications, of which six were rejected by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan high court and three by the Supreme Court.

The self-styled godman is embroiled in a rape case in Gujrat as well, where two sisters have lodged separate complaints against him and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement. Over the last four years, since the trial began, as many as nine witnesses in the two cases have been attacked. Three of them have died.

“I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice,” said the father of the rape survivor.

Ahead of the verdict, Jodhpur police imposed Section 144 in the city to prevent violence breaking out in case his followers were unhappy with the verdict .

A special courtroom was set up inside the Jodhpur Central Jail for pronouncement of the verdict, due to security reasons, because Asaram has huge following across the country.

Fearing threat to law and order in the city from Asaram’s followers, the Jodhpur police had requested the Rajasthan HC to direct the trial court to pronounce its judgment from inside the jail. After getting the HC’s nod, police initiated unprecedented security measures around the city. A 10-day prohibitory order from April 21-30 has also been issued.

“We have cleared up his (Asaram’s) ashrams and asked all hotels and guest-houses to not allow any of his followers. We have been keeping an eye on bus and railway stations as well as the airport to ensure that his followers did not enter the city,” said Jodhpur DCP Amandeep Singh Kapoor.

The Centre earlier directed Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and UP to tighten security and deploy additional forces. The Shahjahanpur district administration has stepped up security around the rape survivor’s house.

All entries to the city have been sealed and control rooms have been activated in neighbouring districts and states.

SC questions Gujarat over slow trial in rape case agst Asaram

SC questions Gujarat over slow trial in rape case agst Asaram
SC questions Gujarat over slow trial in rape case agst Asaram

The Supreme Court today questioned the Gujarat government over the slow pace of trial in the rape case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

A bench comprising justices N V Ramanna and Amitava Roy asked the state government why the victim has not been examined till now.

It asked the state government to file an affidavit in this regard and posted the matter for further hearing after Diwali.

The apex court had on April 12 asked the trial court in Gujarat to expedite the recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses in a sexual assault case lodged by two Surat-based sisters against the self-styled godman.

The court had asked the Surat trial court to record the testimonies of 46 remaining prosecution witnesses including the alleged rape victims.

Earlier, the top court had refused to grant bail to Asaram on various grounds including his poor health in two separate sexual assault cases lodged in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The apex court, while dismissing his bail plea on January 30, had observed that Asaram had placed a “fictitious document” to persuade the court to grant him bail and had ordered registration of an FIR against those responsible for preparing and filing the alleged fake papers.

The two Surat-based 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.

In the case in Rajasthan, a teenage girl had accused him of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur.

The girl, who belonged to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student living in the ashram.

The apex court had noted that trial in the matter was unnecessarily prolonged and the prosecution witnesses were being attacked, which led to the death of two witnesses.

The apex court had on November 18 last year sought the response of the Centre and five states on a plea seeking a CBI probe into the alleged murder of children and attacks on ten witnesses in the Asaram rape cases.

Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur Police on August 31, 2013 and has been in jail since then.

( Source – PTI )

SC denies bail to Asaram in sexual assault case

SC denies bail to Asaram in sexual assault case
SC denies bail to Asaram in sexual assault case

The Supreme Court today refused to grant regular and interim bail on medical grounds to religious figure Asaram in a sexual assault case registered in Rajasthan.

The bench headed by Chief Justice S Khehar also rejected an interim bail plea on health grounds in another sexual offence case lodged in Gujarat.

“The instant plea is devoid of merit and hence dismissed,” the bench, also comprising Justice N V Ramana, said while dealing with the bail plea on health grounds.

The bench also rejected the plea for regular bail, after taking note of attacks on crucial witnesses and the attempts of the accused to delay the trial by examining prosecution witnesses on several dates.

( Source – PTI )

Two bail pleas of Asaram to be heard together: SC

Two bail pleas of Asaram to be heard together: SC
Two bail pleas of Asaram to be heard together: SC

The bail plea of self-styled sect chief Asaram Bapu in a rape case lodged against him by a Surat -based woman in 2013 would be now heard along with a similar petition filed by him in another case lodged in Jodhpur, the Supreme Court said today.

“List along with SLP(Criminal)…,” a bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana said while tagging the plea with the other case in Jodhpur.

The apex court has already asked the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to set up a three-member panel to conduct medical examination on 79-year-old Asaram and file a report before it for disposal of his bail plea in the case registered in the Rajasthan city.

In July 2014, Asaram had sought bail on the ground that Gujarat Police had already filed a charge sheet. The 72-year- old religious preacher has maintained the sexual assault case against him had been filed with mala fide intention.

Asaram had further said the rape complaint was lodged 12 years after the alleged crime. The bail petition has said that even after the alleged incident in 2001, the victim had stayed in Asaram’s ashram till 2007.

Two Surat-based 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.

The sect leader is currently lodged in a Rajasthan jail after being arrested in September last for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.

The other case also relates to a rape case filed by a teenage girl who had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl belonging to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was a student at the ashram.

SC lets Asaram to be brought to AIIMS for check-up

SC lets Asaram to be brought to AIIMS for check-up
SC lets Asaram to be brought to AIIMS for check-up

The Supreme Court today allowed self-styled religious figure Asaram Bapu to be taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here from Jodhpur jail under police custody for medical examination.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana however refused the plea of 75-year-old man, who heads a sect, seeking permission to stay at his ashram in the national capital during the period of check-up.

The order came after a three-member panel of doctors from AIIMS informed the apex court that requisite equipments for evaluation of Asaram’s medical condition were not there in Jodhpur jail and he needed to be brought to the institute for proper check up.

During the hearing, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran appearing for Asaram, sought bail for him and said the media should be directed not to report about the arguments in the case.

To this, the bench said, “No we cannot. Why should we gag them? What is there in this?”

On August 11, the apex court had denied interim bail to Asaram in a rape case and directed AIIMS to set up a medical board to ascertain his health condition before taking up his regular bail plea.

Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur Police on August 31, 2013 and has been in jail since then.

On August 9, the High Court had rejected the bail application of Asaram in the rape case.

A teenage girl had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl belonging to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was a student living in the ashram.

( Source – PTI )

Asaram witness murder case: Cops seek 2-day PC

Asaram witness murder case: Cops seek 2-day PC
Asaram witness murder case: Cops seek 2-day PC

Police today sought two-day custody of close aide of Asaram, Niraj Kumar in connection with the Akhil Gupta murder case.

Chief judicial magistrate Grima Choudhry has fixed tomorrow the date for hearing the application filed by the police.

Police has requested in court for two days remand of Asaram’s close aide Niraj Kumar, who had confessed that he had provided arms and logistics to the shooter Kartik Haldar for killing Gupta.

Kumar was arrested by Sharanpur Police in connection with cow theft and cheating cases on July 19.

35-year-old Akhil was shot at by unidentified persons on January 11 last year. Subsequently, he was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. He was a cook and personal aide of Asaram, who has been in jail since August 2013, for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl.

(Source : PTI)

HC rejects bail application of Asaram Bapu

HC rejects bail application of Asaram Bapu
HC rejects bail application of Asaram Bapu

The Rajasthan High Court today rejected the bail application of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who is facing rape charge.

This was the ninth regular bail application of Asaram to be rejected. An interim bail plea was rejected by the high court last month.

While rejecting the bail application, Justice Nirmal Jeet Kaur said since the trial of the case has reached its fag end, it was not appropriate to grant the bail.

Prosecution counsel P C Solanki said the court also rejected the argument of defence that the trial of the case was taking long.

A teenage girl had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl belonging to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was a student at the ashram.

Following her complaint against Asaram, he was arrested by Jodhpur Police on 31 August, 2013 and has been in jail since then.

(Source : PTI)

Video-conferencing feasibility in Asaram trial to be checked

Video-conferencing feasibility in Asaram trial to be checked
Video-conferencing feasibility in Asaram trial to be checked

The Gujarat government today told a court in Gandhinagar that it will need some more time to check the feasibility of producing self-styled godman Asaram through video-conferencing facility to expedite the rape trial process against him.

After considering the arguments put forward by Special Public Prosecutor R C Kodekar on behalf of the government, Additional Sessions Judge R A Ghoghari posted the case for hearing on November 2.

On October 15, Asaram had written a letter to the court in Gandhinagar seeking fast-track trial in an alleged rape case against him filed by a Surat-based woman.

During the arguments today, Kodekar told the court that in order to expedite the trial, there should be a video conferencing facility available in Rajasthan’s Jodhpurprison, where Asaram is lodged at present, as he is facing another rape case trial there.

Kodekar sought more time from the court to find out if the jail is equipped with video-conferencing facility, which can be used to produce Asaram in Gandhinagar court without bringing him here, and save time.

Asaram had in the letter to the Gandhinagar court urged it to expedite the trial of the rape case against him, saying he is an elderly person and has been framed in a false case.

He said in the letter that he has been in jail for a long period and the case against him in Gujarat is not proceeding further.

Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape, sexual assault and illegal confinement.

The elder sister had in her complaint against Asaram accused him of repeated sexual assaults between 2001 and 2006 during the time she was living at his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The 73-year-old controversial religious preacher had also sought temporary bail in the alleged rape case in March this year, which was rejected by the Gandhinagar court The framing of charges against Asaram and others accused in the case is pending in the court.

Asaram was arrested in September 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.

 

( Source – PTI )

No relief for Asaram Bapu, Court rejects bail plea again

No relief for Asaram Bapu, Court rejects bail plea again
No relief for Asaram Bapu, Court rejects bail plea again

Self-styled ‘godman’ Asaram Bapu, who is in jail since September 2013 for allegedly raping a minor, was on Saturday denied bail by a court in Jodhpur, the sixth time his plea for relief has been turned down.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas rejected the bail application of 73-year-old Asaram, stating that an accused in a crime of such nature does not deserve bail.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had on Friday argued on Asaram’s behalf. He had contended that the entire case had been fabricated and Asaram deserved to be released on bail.

The court had reserved its order for today.

Opposing the bail plea, prosecution counsel P.C. Solanki had said that the court must look into the circumstances of the alleged crime, including the age of the victim, before coming to a decision.

Earlier, two bail petitions of Asaram were turned down by lower court. He had twice unsuccessfully approached the High Court and was also denied relief by the Supreme Court.

Asaram is lodged in a jail here following his arrest in September 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl in one of his ashrams.