Jodhpur court rejects Asaram's bail application

Jodhpur court rejects Asaram's bail application

Jodhpur court rejects Asaram's bail application

Controversial godman Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl in his Jodhpur ashram, will have to spent the remaining days of his remand—till September 15—in the Jodhpur Central jail as his bail application was rejected by Jodhpur District and Sessions Court Justice Manoj Kumar Vyas on Wednesday.

Asaram has been in jail since being sent to 14-day judicial custody on Monday. Jail sources say he has been spending sleepless nights as he is yet to come to terms with living in a prison cell.

Public prosecutor Anand Purohit countered the argument of defence lawyers that the girl is not a minor as per medical report, pointing out that according to the school certificate, which the court as authentic, the girl is still a minor.

Also, countering the defence lawyers' argument that the girl had not been violated, prosecutors pointed out that the definition of rape has been changed, and even manipulation of private parts come under the purview of rape.

Another reason cited against granting him bail at this stage was that the two other accused in the case are still at large, and giving Asaram bail now could harm the case.

Replying to questions raised by Asaram's lawyers as to why the police complaint was filed a few days after the alleged incident, public prosecutor said the girl was in a state of shock and it took her time to gather courage and file a complaint.

“It has been proved that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law,” said the lawyer representing the Rajasthan Police, after the court's decision was announced on Wednesday evening.

 The 72-year-old self-styled guru was arrested on Saturday night at his ashram at Indore in Madhya Pradesh and taken to Jodhpur, where he is accused of having sexually assaulted a 16-year-old on August 15 night.

 In court on Wednesday, the police said that Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ajay Pal Lamba, who is leading the investigation, received a threatening letter by fax on Tuesday. The letter was faxed from Uttar Pradesh, they said.