Asaram Attends Rape Case Trial in Gujarat via Video Conference

Rape convict Asaram and his son Narayan Sai are accused of rape by two sisters from Surat in Gujarat.

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Rape convict Asaram.
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Self-styled godman Asaram, sentenced to life imprisonment by a Rajasthan court recently for raping a minor girl, attended the trial in another rape case against him in Gujarat through video conference, on 4 May.

Asaram and his son Narayan Sai are accused of rape by two sisters from Surat in Gujarat. While the elder sister accused Asaram of sexual assault several times at his Motera ashram in Ahmedabad between 1997 and 2006, her younger sister levelled similar charges against Sai.

Asaram, who is lodged in a Jodhpur jail, appeared before the court of additional sessions judge Rashida Vora here through video conference, his lawyer Chandrakant Gupta said, adding the judge adjourned the hearing in the case to 14 May.

The court has examined 30 witnesses so far. The entire trial is being conducted in-camera, owing to possible threat to the lives of witnesses.

“As the trial court proceedings are held in-camera, we cannot disclose anything about it as per the law. The next hearing is fixed for 14 May," counsel R.C. Kodekar said.

The charge sheet also names Asaram’s wife Lakshmiben, daughter Bharti Devi and four women followers for alleged abetment of rape. The charges were framed in March 2016.

Four other women were named for helping him in the alleged crime.

On 25 April, a Special Court in Jodhpur convicted Asaram for raping a minor girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013 and sentenced him to a prison term for life till his natural death.

The Supreme Court had adjourned Asaram's bail application in April and pulled up the Gujarat Police for its tardy investigations and said evidence must be recorded in the case within five weeks. The apex court has refused Asaram's bail plea several times.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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