Thursday, September 28, 2023

Supreme Court defers hearing in Asaram Bapu case till reopening of Court

Sr. Adv Dr. Manish Singhvi appeared for the state of Rajasthan and placed before the bench that this plea has become infructuous because Asaram is hospitalized and his health conditions are serious, therefore he cannot be shifted to Uttarakhand now.

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The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu for interim bail to avail Ayurvedic medical treatment in Uttarakhand, till the reopening of the Court.

The matter was listed before the bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M.R. Shah. When the hearing started Justice M.R. Shah taking stern objection asked Sr. Advocate Siddharth Luthra that, “last time it was stated that you had personal difficulty. But then you appeared in Calcutta high court. So High Court was more important than the Supreme court. I take strong objection to taking adjournment here. Priority must be for Supreme Court.”

Justice Shah then told Mr. Luthra not to repeat this in future. And asked him to proceed and argue in the merits of the case.

Mr. Luthra informed the bench that Asaram Bapu is seriously ill and is in the hospital. And prayed that the matter should be deferred for hearing to next week.

Sr. Adv Dr. Manish Singhvi appeared for the state of Rajasthan and placed before the bench that this plea has become infructuous because Asaram is hospitalized and his health conditions are serious, therefore he cannot be shifted to Uttarakhand now.

Mr. Singhvi further submitted that Supreme Court’s had issued notice in this plea to find out if Asaram Bapu can be transferred to Uttarakhand for Ayurveda treatment. But now that Asharam is critically ill this matter has become infructuous. And if he has a fresh cause of concern, he can raise it in High Court.

Then Mr. Luthra requested the court to adjourn the matter and list it after the vacation.

The bench accepted the request of Mr. Luthra and ordered the matter to be listed after vacation.

The Supreme Court on 4th June had issued notice on a petition filed by convicted godman Asaram Bapu challenging a Rajasthan High Court order dismissing his plea for temporary suspension of sentence to avail ayurvedic medical treatment.

The State of Rajasthan had filed its reply against the plea of Asaram on June 7th. In its reply has submitted that Asaram under the garb of his medical treatment, desiring to get his sentence suspended has made two attempts of this kind earlier also, in the year 2014 and 2016 and both previous times the Apex Court had created a committee of Doctors which had found that Aharam’s health condition is stable and was not as critical that it would require any surgical management of the disease.

“Asaram has made a third attempt to get his sentence suspended, under the garb of medical treatment. In the previous round of petitions, the accused had prayed for immediate medical surgery of his ailment, through the allopathic method, which failed, and now through the present petition, he has raised his concern to get his treatment from Ayurveda. Asaram has placed on record clinical summary on 17th Feb 2021 issued by MM Hospital Jodhpur, wherein he was advised coronary angiography, which was refused by him,” the reply said.

The reply of the State of Rajasthan also highlighted that the clinical summary of MM Hospital does not specify any specific health problem of immediate attention and such surgery or angiography cannot be done at Ayurveda Hospital.

The reply further submits that AIIMS Jodhpur has cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologist, urologists, orthopedic consultants, and experience Ayurvedacharya are available at Ayurveda University Hospital, Jodhpur and they are capable of treating Asaram effectively.

“Also, Asaram is facing trial at Sessions Court Gandhi Nagar, Gujrat under section 376, 377, 354, 357, 342, 346, IPC and also at MM Court, Jodhpur under section 353, 355, 384, 177, 189, 120 (B) IPC and Section 66 of IT Act.”

“And Asaram with ulterior motive has been attempting to change the venue of his custody, under the guise of medical treatment. Such change would be an abuse of process of law.”

“Asaram deliberately doing this to delay pending trail at Gandhi Nagar and Jodhpur and he is stable and fit” the reply states.

A self-styled Indian spiritual guru Asaram Bapu who claims millions of followers worldwide has been given a life sentence for raping a 16-year-old girl.
Asaram Bapu was convicted of the 2013 attack on the girl, a devotee at his ashram in Jodhpur, by a court in the city’s jail.

Asaram was arrested in 2013 after a case of sexual assault was filed against him by two of his followers, who alleged that he had assaulted their daughter.

Read Also: Supreme Court stays FIRs against actor Munmun Dutta over her remarks against SC community

Police said that the couple, who had sent the girl to one of his ashrams for spiritual lessons, were summoned to see her as she was “under the influence of some supernatural ghostly powers”.

They were then told to take their daughter to Jodhpur to meet the guru.

The family reached the Jodhpur ashram on 14 August 2013. The following night, Asaram called the victim to his room on the pretext of “curing” her. He then raped the victim while her parents waited outside chanting his prayers, police said.

Police also said the guru forced the victim to perform sexual acts on him and threatened to murder her family if she spoke about the incident.
The victim told her parents what had happened the following day.

Source: ILNS

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