AHMEDABAD: A court in Gandhinagar, hearing a rape case against religious preacher Asaram, today allowed a petition seeking in-camera proceedings in the case.
The plea was moved by public prosecutor R C Kodekar citing threat to life of witnesses in the case. Principal sessions judge A N Joshi allowed the application which said prosecution witnesses coming to the court faced risk to their lives and therefore the proceedings should be held in-camera and members of public be not allowed inside the courtroom. "From now on, witnesses will be examined in-camera owing to the risk to their life," the court held.
A witness was examined in-camera today after the court granted permission for it. The case before the Gandhinagar court relates to a complaint filed by a Surat-based woman, who accused Asaram of raping her many times when she was living at his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city between 1997 and 2006.
The charge sheet also names his wife Lakshmiben, daughter Bharti and four women followers Dhruvben, Nirmala, Jassi and Meera for abetment of rape. The charges against Asaram were framed in March last year. Asaram is also facing another rape case in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, and is currently lodged in a prison there.