Gujarat court sentences self-styled godman Asaram to life imprisonment in 2013 rape case

The 81-year-old is currently lodged in a Jodhpur jail, where he is serving a life sentence in another case of raping a minor girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013.
Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu (Photo | PTI)
Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu (Photo | PTI)

AHMEDABAD:  A court in Gandhinagar on Tuesday sentenced self-styled godman Asumal alias Asaram Bapu, convicted in a rape case filed by a former woman disciple in 2013, to life imprisonment.

The court also ordered Asaram to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to the victim. 

Asaram is currently lodged in a Jodhpur jail, where he is serving a life sentence in another case of raping a minor girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013. 

After hearing prosecution and defence lawyers, Additional District Sessions Judge D.K. Son announced the quantum of punishment, during the hearing, Special Public Prosecutor R.C. Kodekar had submitted that Asaram was a "habitual offender" and so he should be sent to jail for life, while the defence lawyer had sought minimum punishment.

Addressing media in Gandhinagar Public Prosecutor R.C. Kodekar Said “Asaram has been sentenced to life imprisonment under sections 376 2 (C) (rape), 377 (unnatural offenses), one year under 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 6 months under 342 (wrongful detention), 1 year under 357 (assault) and one year under 506 (criminal intimidation). Apart from this, the court has ordered to pay compensation of 50 thousand to the victim.”

Asaram's lawyer CB Gupta said “In this case, a total of six co-accused, including Asaram's wife and daughter were acquitted after giving the benefit of the doubt. The case was filed in 2013 while the allegations levelled by the victim date back to 2001."

"Earlier there were 8 accused in this case.  Asaram and six others were named accused while one was made was made witness by the prosecution,” he added. 

He further said, “In the charge sheet which was filed in 2014, seven accused were named in this rape case. Charges were framed (charge frame) in 2016. After a long marathon trial, Asaram has been sentenced by the court, after studying the judgment, we will appeal against this judgment in the High Court.”

Two sisters had filed a complaint in 2013 with Surat police against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, alleging that between 1997 to 2006, that Asaram had raped the older sister between 1997 to 2006 in Ahmedabad, whereas the younger sister had alleged Asaram's son raped her in Surat ashram during the same period.

The elder sister's case was transferred to Ahmedabad police and a trial was conducted in the Gandhinagar court, which found Asaram guilty on Monday, The trial against Asaram's son is underway in a Surat court.

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