Thursday, February 2, 2023

Allahabad High Court denies bail to Swami Sachchidanand in gangrape case

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The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application of Swami Sachchidanand alias Dayanand, accused in a gangrape case.

A Single Bench of Justice Subhash Chandra Sharma passed this case, while hearing a criminal miscellaneous bail application filed by Swami Sachchidanand alias Dayanand.

The Counsel appearing for the applicant submitted that he was innocent and has been falsely implicated in the case on allegation of committing rape with two victims in the Ashram operated by the applicant, in connivance with other five co-accused.

He said the applicant, aged about 85-86 years, had committed no offence. The victims were expelled from the Ashram by the applicant, so they had lodged a false FIR.

No specific date of committing rape has been mentioned in the FIR, though in her statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC, a specific date has been given by her. At that time, the applicant was suffering from various ailments and was under treatment in Apollo Hospital, Delhi, said the Counsel representing Swami Dayanand, added the Counsel.

He submitted that prior to this incident, several FIRs were registered against the applicant by other informants making similar allegations, which were also pending and in one of them as crime No 3756 of 2017, the applicant was granted bail by the Coordinate Bench of the Court.

It was further submitted that an FIR under Sections 302, 201, 120-B IPC was also lodged against the applicant, in which the applicant was exonerated after investigation. Now after the investigation, a charge sheet has been submitted, therefore, there is no apprehension of affecting the investigation. He is languishing in jail since June 30, 2021 and in case he is released on bail, he will not misuse the liberty of bail and will cooperate in trial.

The Counsel for the complainant as well as the AGA, opposed the prayer for bail and urged that both the victims were being exploited sexually by the applicant with other co-accused from beginning, while living in Ashram as Sadhvi under the influence of the applicant, who was their Spiritual Guru.

They said the victims have categorically mentioned about committing rape by this applicant and other co-accused with them in the Ashram by using force and also under threat to kill them.

He further urged that the victims have made statements under Section 161 and 164 CrPC, in which they have asserted the fact of rape with them by this applicant and other co-accused. The bail application of co-accused Param Chetna Nand alias Pankaj Bhai Patel has already been rejected by the coordinate Bench of the Court order dated December 8, 2020 in Criminal Miscellaneous Bail Application, after considering all these facts and merit of the case.

It was also urged that the applicant was a previous convict, whose appeal was still pending before the Court. In this way, he was not entitled for bail.

“Considering the submission of the counsel for the parties, facts of the case, serious nature of allegation, gravity of offence, evidence on record and complicity of the applicant, without expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, the Court is of the opinion that it is not a fit case for bail”, the Court observed.

It rejected the bail application of Swami Sachchidanand alias Dyanand, involved in case under Sections 376-D, 342, 323, 506 IPC, PS Kotwali, District Basti.

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