A Gujarat trial court was today asked by Supreme Court to expedite recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses in a sexual assault case lodged by two Surat-based sisters against self-styled godman Asaram.
The trial court has been asked to record "as fast as possible" the testimonies of 46 remaining prosecution witnesses including the alleged rape victims by a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul
“The trial court is directed to expedite the examination of witnesses as expeditiously as may be practically possible”, the bench said.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat, said this is the same case in which two prosecution witnesses have been killed. He further said that 29 prosecution witnesses have already been examined and the recording of evidence of 46 others is still remaining.
“It should not linger on. This is what we want to say to you . Expedite the recording of evidence”, the bench
Asaram’s bail plea has been fixed for further hearing in the third week of July.
Earlier SC 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 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.