JODHPUR: Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who is serving life term at a jail here for raping a teenage girl, has sought bail from the Rajasthan High Court for "ayurvedic treatment" in Haridwar after testing COVID-19 positive.
Last Wednesday, after he tested positive for the infection and complained of breathlessness, Asaram was shifted to the MG Hospital from the Jodhpur Central Jail, and later on Friday, to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-Jodhpur.
A two-judge bench of justices Sandeep Mehta and Devendra Kachhawaha, after hearing the petition, directed that the AIIMS submit Asaram's medical report in the court.
The court has listed the matter for next hearing on May 13.
Asaram's counsel Pradeep Choudhary said the court was on Monday hearing an application moved by him for suspension of sentence and interim bail.
The application was moved in the high court some time back, he said.
Choudhary told the court that Asaram is suffering from many diseases and recently, contracted COVID-19.
He has been admitted to the AIIMS-Jodhpur for the disease's treatment, the counsel said.
"He has been suffering from many ailments and has interest in taking ayurvedic treatment in Haridwar (in Uttarakhand).
We have sought bail so that he can go there and avail treatment of his faith," Choudhary said.
Asaram was sentenced to life in prison in 2018 after a court here found him guilty of raping the girl in his ashram in 2013.
She was 16 years old.
The charge sheet against Asaram and four other co-accused was filed by police on November 6, 2013, under various sections of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, the Juvenile Justice Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The teenager had said in her complaint that Asaram had called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15 2013.
The girl from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was studying at Asaram's ashram in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.