A local court on Thursday sent Shilpi, a key aide of Asaram Bapu and co-accused in the case of alleged sexual exploitation of a teenage girl, to eight-day judicial custody.
Ms. Shilpi, the warden of Asaram’s ‘ashram’ in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh, had allegedly conspired to send the girl, who was a student there, to Asaram in Jodhpur.
After the District and Sessions Court order, her counsel moved a bail application in the same court and it will come up for hearing tomorrow.
“We moved a bail application in the court immediately after that (the order of judicial custody),” said her counsel.
Ms. Shilpi’s counsel said that as the police did not seek any extension in her police custody, the court sent her to judicial custody.
Ms. Shilpi had surrendered before the court here on September 25 after Rajasthan High Court had rejected her anticipatory bail plea on the same day.
With this, all five accused in the case, including Asaram himself, have been sent to judicial custody and they will be produced before the court on October 11.
Besides Asaram, the other accused in the case are Shiva (attendant of Asaram), Sharad Chandra (director of the Gurukul), Prakash (Asaram’s cook) and now Shilpi.
Police, which has so far collected all evidences relating to the allegations of the girl, is likely to file the charge sheet in the court in two weeks, a police officer associated with the investigation said.
“Now with all the accused in jail and investigation of the case wrapped up, we will sit down to prepare the charge sheet, which we are hopeful of filing in the court in the next two weeks,” the officer said on condition of anonymity.
He did not rule out possibility of Ms. Shilpi turning into a government witness.
Meanwhile, Asaram’s counsel on Thursday withdrew a request regarding providing him ‘special food’ in the jail.
Asaram’s request to allow his lady doctor Neeta to attend him in jail will be taken up by the court on Friday.