Press Trust of India
Jodhpur, 1 October
Rajasthan High Court today rejected the bail plea of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in a sexual assault case, saying this stage is not fit for granting him the relief.
Ms Justice Nirmal Jeet Kaur denied bail to 72-year-old Asaram after hearing arguments from the defence for one-and-a-half hours. Both defence and prosecution had completed their arguments on 16 and 18 September respectively, but defence counsel Ram Jethmalani had sought some more time from the court to produce some material in support of his contentions.
“On Tuesday, he produced four affidavits in the court, which were to the effect that first, the victim did not want to live in the gurukul; second, the age certificate of the girl was wrong; third, the girl was mentally unstable and fourth, she was having affair with a boy and was active on Facebook,” the prosecution counsel said.
The court, however, did not consider these affidavits and said this was not the trial but it was just hearing a bail plea.
Ms Justice Kaur also objected to repeat of the arguments carried out during the previous hearing.
Mr Jethmalani made submissions about the girl’s character and again raised doubts over the crime scene.
His contentions were opposed by the prosecution counsel, Anand Purohit, and investigation officer Chanchal Mishra.
While arguing against the bail application, Mr Mishra said Asaram’s followers have continuously been creating nuisance everywhere despite his being in jail and things may worsen further if he is out on bail.
She also mentioned the case of another girl student of the same gurukul the victim was in, who has been missing since long. “We had inquired about her, but still do not know about her whereabouts,” she argued.
While rebutting the defence contention that the victim was suffering from mental illness, the counsel for the victim Manish Vyas argued that, on the contrary, “Asaram is a paedophile”.
Asaram is lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail since 1 September for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in an ashram here. A Jodhpur court had yesterday extended judicial custody of Asaram and that of his attendant Shiva till 11 October in the case.