Other States

No bail for self-styled godman Asaram: Gujarat HC

Rape and sexual harassment convict’s plea for four months temporary bail rejected

In his petition he submitted that he wanted to come out of the jail fearing infectious disease COVID-19 if remained imprisoned.

The 84-year-old self-styled godman Asaram, convicted in a rape and sexual harassment case, and lodged in a jail in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, where he was convicted in a separate case, sought release from jail for four months, stating that his advanced age and poor health made him more vulnerable to the coronovirus pandemic.

In his petition, his advocate submitted, “Considering the age and condition of the applicant, he would be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and therefore, this is a fit case to grant temporary bail to the applicant as prayed for.”

Additionally, the lawyer appearing for him also cited the Supreme Court's order to various State governments to release prisoners so the risk of the spread of coronavirus could be curbed inside prisons, which are congested.

After the arguments, Justice Bela Trivedi rejected Asaram’s bail plea and observed in her judgment, “It also appears that his regular bail applications were not granted by this court as well as by the Supreme Court. The case of the applicant also does not fall under any of the categories mentioned in the guidelines issued by the High Power Committee constituted pursuant to the order passed by the Supreme Court.”

It may be noted that the committee recommended the release of those undertrial prisoners who are behind bars on charges punishable with imprisonment up to seven years.

However, Asaram is facing charges of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, in which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 5:19:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/no-bail-for-self-styled-godman-asaram-gujarat-hc/article31221847.ece

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