Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu has to stay in jail as his application for temporary bail stands rejected.
Asaram, who is in jail for trial in a rape case before a Sessions Court in Gandhinagar in Gujarat, gets no relief during the coronavirus pandemic. The proceedings were conducted through video conferencing and a Single Judge Bench of Justice Bela M Trivedi passed the orders during the proceedings.
Senior Advocate SV Raju with Advocate Dipak B Patel represented Asaram. Advocate Mitesh Amin was the Public Prosecutor.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak prevalent in the country, Asaram had moved an application before the Court, seeking temporary bail for a period of four months.
The argument from Asaram's side was about the self-styled godman suffering from several ailments and his old age might put him in danger, making him more vulnerable to the virus for which a bail application was moved.
Repeated bail pleas
The Public Prosecutor on the other side argued that this is not the first time when Asaram has applied for bail. He has applied for bail earlier also and his applications were rejected by the High Court and the Supreme Court, hence, the application for temporary bail should also not be entertained.
In view of the submissions made by the parties, the Court opined that the present case did not fall under any of the categories stated in the guidelines that were issued by the High Power Committee constituted in accordance with the Supreme Court's order about decongestion of jails during the current pandemic.
The order noted that "It appears that the applicant-accused is involved in very serious offences under Sections 376(2)(c), 377, 354, 357, 342, 346, 506 (2) and 120(B) of IPC. It also appears that his regular bail applications were not granted by this Court as well as the Supreme Court."
Following the above orders, the Court also concluded that Asaram's application for a temporary bail did not deserve any further consideration.
In 2018, Asaram and two others were convicted by a Jodhpur Court in a rape case involving a minor victim.