The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred the hearing on self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s plea for interim bail to avail ayurvedic medical treatment in Uttarakhand till August 30, Monday.
The matter was listed before the Supreme Court bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V. Ramasubramanian. Senior Advocate Dr Manish Singhvi, who appeared for the state of Rajasthan, placed before the bench that this plea has become infructuous because Asaram is hospitalized and he has been given treatment at AIIMS.
Advocate Manish Tiwari, appearing for Asaram Bapu, submitted that there is a need to file a new vakalatnama and requests the matter to be heard on Friday. Then he requested the court to adjourn the matter and list it after the vacation.
The bench accepted the request of Tiwari and ordered the matter to be listed after Monday. The Supreme Court on June 4 had issued notice on a petition filed by convicted 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 to Asaram’s plea on June 7. 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.
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.
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.