The Supreme Court has denied bail to controversial Godman Asaram Bapu's in a rape case lodged against him in Gujarat but agreed to hear his petition for bail in another rape case filed in Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Asaram is facing trial along with his wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharti and his four women followers in a rape case filed by a Surat-based woman. He had earlier been denied interim relief by the Supreme Court.
Asaram Bapu has been embroiled in a lot of controversies for his remarks on the 2012 Delhi gang rape, criminal cases filed against him involving land encroachment by his ashrams controversial and two other rape cases.
The Surat based woman had accused him of sexual assaults between 1997 and 2006, when she was living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
The bench headed by Justice TS Thakur, however, issued notice to Rajasthan government on another rape case in Jodhpur asking it to file its response and posted the case for hearing in August and asked Asaram to approach the Gujarat High Court for bail in this rape case.
The Court also agreed to hear Asaram's contention to prove that the alleged victim was not a minor on the date of the incident and to also put this forward to the district court. The complaint’s father had alleged that the Godman had raped her when she was studying in a school in his Ashram. He was then booked under sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC(dealing with rape and sexual harassment), section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences.
Read Live Law article on Asaram Bapu’s plea seeking directions to restrain media from publishing any report regarding the case.