8 July 2022 2:00 PM GMT
The Rajasthan High Court has rejected the third application filed by self-styled godman & life convict Asaram Bapu seeking suspension of sentence for rape of a minor. The court further opined that he does not deserve indulgence of bail. Asaram was convicted and sentenced to life for offences under Sections 370(4), 342, 506, 376(2)(f) and 376D of the Indian Penal Code by a Special...
The Rajasthan High Court has rejected the third application filed by self-styled godman & life convict Asaram Bapu seeking suspension of sentence for rape of a minor. The court further opined that he does not deserve indulgence of bail.
Asaram was convicted and sentenced to life for offences under Sections 370(4), 342, 506, 376(2)(f) and 376D of the Indian Penal Code by a Special POCSO Court at Jodhpur in April 2018.
The court also noted that two previous applications for suspension of sentences filed on behalf of Asaram have been dismissed by the court after arguments had been advanced to some extent albeit by way of withdrawal. It further noted that Asaram continues to be in custody in another trial ongoing at Gujarat, for similar offences.
A division bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Vineet Kumar Mathur, observed,
"In wake of the discussion made hereinabove; looking to the nature and gravity of the allegations, and considering the fact that the appeal itself is ripe for hearing, we are of the opinion that the appellant does not deserve indulgence of bail. Hence, the instant application for suspension of sentences is rejected as being devoid of merit."
On 30.06.2022, the court had sought the status of the trial going on against Asaram in the State of Gujarat. In this regard, the court was apprised that in the said case, the prosecution evidence is yet continuing. It was also informed that the appellant has been denied bail by the competent court at Gujarat on more than one occasion.
The court noted that perusal of the order-sheets of the appeal indicate that the matter was listed for hearing on more than one occasion, but adjournments have been sought by the defence for one reason or the other.
Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat, assisted by Adv. Rajesh Inamdar, representing Asaram, sought for releasing him on bail on the ground that the appellant is an old aged man of around 83 years and is suffering from numerous ailments. He argued that Asaram has suffered prolonged custody period which is nearly 9 years and 7 months and therefore be granted bail.
Further, it was argued that order passed by the court summoning of witness Mr. Ajay Pal Lamba under Section 391 CrPC is subject matter of challenge before the Supreme Court and thus, there is no possibility of the appeal being heard and decided.
In contrast, the Public Prosecutor, while opposing the bail, urged that the appeal has been listed for hearing on more than one occasions and it is the defence counsel, who have been seeking adjournments. Thus, as per the Public Prosecutor, the ground of delay is not available to the appellant. He submitted that even releasing the appellant on bail in the present appeal would serve no purpose whatsoever because the appellant continues to be in custody in the criminal trial going on in Gujarat.
Sr. Advocate Devadatt Kamat assisted by Adv. Rajesh Inamdar and Adv. R.S. Saluja appeared on behalf of the appellant. AAG Anil Joshi and PP R.R. Chhaperwal appeared on behalf of the state while Adv. P.C. Solanki appeared on behalf of the Complainant.
Case Title: Asharam @ Ashumal v. State Of Rajasthan, Through PP
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 207
Click Here To Read/Download Order