Jodhpur, Oct 30 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court Tuesday sought the state government’s stand on a plea challenging the conviction and jail term for life of self-styled godman Asaram for raping a teenaged girl in his ashram near here in 2013. Also Read - Mumbai Comedian Among Five Held in Indore For 'Indecent' Remarks About Hindu Deities, Amit Shah
A Jodhpur bench of the high court issued notice to the state government seeking its reply to Asaram’s appeal. Also Read - New Year's Gift: On The First Day of 2021, PM Modi Lays Foundation Stone of Light House Project in 6 States
A bench of justices Nirmaljit Kaur and V K Mathur also summoned the records of the Asaram’s case from the trial court for further proceedings on it. Also Read - Operation Smile: Indore Cop Turns Teacher For Slum Children Who Couldn't Attend Online Classes Due to Pandemic
The controversial preacher had moved the high court in July this year, challenging his conviction and the life-long jail term.
We had moved the high court praying for setting aside the conviction order. Since it has been admitted by the court, we would now file a bail application soon, said Asaram’s counsel Mahesh Bora.
A Jodhpur court had convicted Asaram of raping a teenager in August 2013 and sentenced him to life in prison until death, the maximum punishment prescribed by the law for the offence.
Additional Sessions Judge Madhusudan Sharma of a special court had also convicted Asaram’s two women co-accused, Shilpi and Sharatchandra, and had sentenced them to 20 years in jail for aiding and abetting the crime committed by the self-styled godman.
Asaram, 79, who ran ashrams and has millions of followers in India and overseas, was convicted in a closed jailhouse court in Jodhpur.
He was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013, to face trial in the case in which he was accused of raping a girl, who was then 16, at his ashram in a village near the Rajasthani city.
Two days back, a nephew of Asaram had also moved the District Parole Committee, seeking a 20-day parole for his jailed uncle.
In the parole application for Asaram, his nephew Ramesh said his uncle has already served five years in jail against the sentence handed out by the trial court.
So, he is entitled for first parole according to the jail norms, he said in the application.
Commenting upon Asaram’s plea for parole, a district administration official said a decision on the matter would be taken after securing a report on the matter.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.