Inside Jodhpur Jail, Judge to Deliver Verdict In Rape Case Against Asaram

Anticipating a law and order problem if Asaram's supporters were allowed to gathered outside the court on judgment day, the Jodhpur administration had moved high court

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Inside Jodhpur Jail, Judge to Deliver Verdict In Rape Case Against Asaram

Accused of rape, Asaram has been in Jodhpur jail for nearly five years


Jaipur:  The trial court verdict against Asaram in a rape case will be delivered on April 25 inside the Jodhpur central jail where the self-styled godman is lodged. Accepting a petition filed by the district administration, the Rajasthan high court has directed the jail authorities to make all arrangements for the verdict and deploy adequate security.

Anticipating a law and order problem if Asaram's supporters were allowed to gathered outside the court on judgment day, the Jodhpur administration had moved the high court after the trial in the case ended on April 7. The verdict will be delivered by trial court judge Madhusudan Sharma. 

Welcoming the high court order, Jodhpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Amandeep Singh said, "We were foreseeing a law and order problem that has taken place in other states also recently, so we prayed that the judgment be given on the jail premises itself. We are relieved this has happened, Asaram's followers can now be restricted".

Last year, there was large scale violence in Haryana after another self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape by a court in Panchkula.

Asaram was arrested in August 2013 on charges of sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram and has been in jail since then. 

The other accused in the case are Sanchita Gupta alias Shilpi, the warden of Asaram's ashram in Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara, his cook Prakash, aide Shiva and ashram director Sharad Chandra.

The Jodhpur police had filed the charge sheet on November 6, 2013 after an investigation that lasted 77 days. The 1,011-page charge sheet has the statements of 58 witnesses.

According to the charge sheet, the cook and the warden of the ashram in Chhindwara where the young girl studied cooked up a story, saying the girl was possessed by evil spirits and needed to be exorcised by Asaram.

The parents of the girl, who were long time devotees of Asaram, were convinced by the explanation and brought their daughter to the Jodhpur ashram where Asaram sexually assaulted her, the charge sheet said.

Asaram has been charged with rape, human trafficking, wrongful confinement and conspiracy under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Juvenile Justice Act and Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

"We are ready to create a court inside the jail, all arrangements will be made. Asaram has been in this jail for almost five years. There is no security issue but on the day of the verdict, we will deploy additional forces," said Vikram Singh, Deputy Inspector General (Jails).

Asaram and his son Narayan Sai are also accused in a case of sexual assault lodged by two Surat-based sisters.

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