Apprehending threat to the life of family members, father of a child rape-survivor has moved the Supreme Court on Thursday opposing the bail plea of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.
The application for intervention has been filed in the pending petition of Asaram in which he has sought suspension of his sentence and interim bail to undergo treatment for various ailments at an ayurvedic centre near Haridwar in Uttarakhand.
A Jodhpur court, on April 25, 2018, had sentenced Asaram to life in prison after finding him guilty of raping a teenage girl in his ashram (hermitage) in 2013.
"It is humbly submitted that the petitioner (Asaram) is highly influential and politically connected and has a force of millions of blind followers around the country, and also a hired killer Kartik Haldar who killed and attacked eyewitnesses, confessed to the Police that Petitioner ordered the killings," the father of rape survivor said in the application.
He said that till now 10 eyewitnesses have been attacked and in all likelihood, if Asaram is granted bail, he may organise revenge killing of the child rape victim and her family and eyewitnesses of case pending at Surat, Gujarat.
"Recently also, the applicant herein has been threatened by the followers/ henchmen of the petitioner (Asaram) and shockingly the State of Uttar Pradesh has reduced the security of the applicant and his family, and they are again very vulnerable to murderous attacks by the followers/henchmen of the petitioner," the application said.
The plea filed through advocate Utsav Bains said that in case Asaram is admitted to interim bail, there is likelihood that out of vengeance, he may get the applicant, his daughter and his family members killed.
"The petitioner (Asharam) herein has no regard to the rule of law and indulged in getting the prosecution witnesses threatened or eliminated who stood against him. And the Petitioner in all likelihood would do the same and with greater impunity and ease when granted bail and is out of Jail. It is humbly submitted that the petitioner herein does not deserve any leniency and his bail application is liable to be dismissed," the plea said.
Rajasthan government has also told the top court that Asaram Bapu, serving a life term in two rape cases in a Jodhpur jail, is fit and stable but trying to change the venue of his custody on the pretext of medical treatment.
Asaram is serving varying jail terms including life sentences in two sexual assault cases.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)