The Rajasthan High Court has granted last opportunity to the Public Prosecutor to file reply in Self-styled godman & Life convict Asaram Bapu's third application for suspension of sentence in minor rape case, to pursue medical treatment.
Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Vineet Kumar Mathur, observed, "Learned Public Prosecutor has not filed reply. Last opportunity is granted to him for doing the needful."
The court has now listed the matter on June 30.
Earlier, on 21st May 2021, a Bench of Justices Sandeep Mehta and Devendra Kachhawaha had directed the district and jail administration to ensure that the self-proclaimed godman, aged about 83 years, is provided with proper treatment, a nutritious diet, and a safe environment looking at his old age and medical condition.
The Court had refused to grant him temporary relief of suspension of sentence, after perusal of the rape convict's medical report submitted by AIIMS, Jodhpur, where he was admitted after contracting COVID-19.
Importantly, the Court had said, "Suspending the sentences awarded to the appellant, in this case, would be nothing short of an exercise in futility because immediately on his release from the Central Jail, Jodhpur, he would be required to be taken to the State of Gujarat in connection with the case pending trial as a production warrant certainly would be in force."
The Court had also rejected the prayer to set up a medical facility at his Ashram in Pal Village, Jodhpur so as to provide him treatment, while noting that whenever he had been taken out from prison even for attending the dates of hearing during the trial, his followers would form huge congregations which would create law and order situations.
Thereafter, on 31.08.2021, the Supreme Court also refused to entertain his application for temporary suspension of sentence to pursue medical treatment. The matter was heard by the bench of Justices Indira Banerjee, V Ramasubramanian and Bela M Trivedi.
Expressing unwillingness to entertain the plea, Justice Banerjee had orally remarked, "Sorry in this sort of a situation, taking an overall view, It's not an ordinary crime at all. You'll get all your ayurvedic treatment in jail. Mr Singh is assuring us that he'll get the treatment. Continuing ayurvedic treatment is not a problem. We'll direct the jail authorities to take care that ayurvedic treatment is granted."
Sr. Adv. Devdutt Kamat assisted by Adv. R.S. Saluja appeared on behalf of the petitioner while PP R.R. Chhaparwal and Adv. P.C. Solanki appeared on behalf of the respondent.
Case Title: Asharam @ Ashumal v. State Of Rajasthan