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The Supreme Court on Monday turned down the bail plea of controversial godman Asaram Bapu and ask the trial court to conclude the trial in the Surat sexual assault case in Gujarat. A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice NV Ramana said the trial needs to be concluded first.

The bench was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the trial in the case was going on and 210 witnesses were yet to be examined. The judges ruled that the trial court trying the sexual assault case will proceed with the trial and not be influenced by the prima facie observations given by the Gujarat High Court earlier while dismissing Asaram’s plea.

Asaram is in jail since 2013 after he was charged in two rape cases filed by police in Jodhpur, where he had allegedly assaulted a minor girl. Asaram, who has lakhs of followers, denies the charges. Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai accusing them of rape and illegal confinement among other charges.

—India Legal Bureau

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