Asaram Bapu had sought bail application on the grounds of his deteriorating health, saying the trial against him was taking a long time. He has been lodged in jail for eight years.
Reacting to this CBI counsel RC Kodekar protested the application on the grounds that his health is stable and being monitored by the doctors in jail in Jodhpur regularly.
He is being referred to All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, as and when required. Regarding the grounds that he is languishing in jail for eight years to be rejected the CBI said and also contended that the trial is on the verge of completion.
He cannot be released on bail as seven persons have been attacked by the disciples of Asaram, out of whom two were killed. Therefore he should not be granted bail due to the gravity of the offence, the counsel argued.
Hearing the argument Gujarat High Court on Friday asked the trial court in Gandhinagar to conclude trial against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu while rejecting his bail application in the rape case against him.
The case is pertained to a former disciple from Surat had accused Asaram of raping her between 1997 and 2006 when she lived at the Motera Ashram.
Her younger sister had lodged a complaint against Asaram’s son Narayan Sai and the court had convicted him in the case.
Also In August 2013, a 16-year-old girl accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her on the night of 15 August at his Manai ashram in Jodhpur on the pretext of exorcising her from evil spirits.
The girl’s parents, who were disciples of Asaram, filed a complaint with the police in Delhi, and a case was registered after the medical examination of the girl confirmed sexual assault.
The issue was discussed in Indian Parliament and a strict action was demanded. When Asaram did not appear for interrogation by 31 August, Delhi Police booked him under multiple non-bailable sections of IPC. Asaram was in one of his ashram(s) in Indore when clashes broke out between his disciples and the journalists and policemen.
Eventually, the Jodhpur police arrested him on 1 September 2013 from his ashram, and flew him to Jodhpur, where he was imprisoned.
Asaram was charged under Sections 342, 376, 506 and 509 of the IPC, as well as under Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Before his arrest he got wide-scale support from Bharatiya Janata Party in the state of Madhya Pradesh, including local MLA Ramesh Mendola.
Ashok Singhal and Pravin Togadia, presidents of Vishva Hindu Parishad deemed the arrest to be an attack on Hindu religious sentiments.
Also Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the ruling party and the Hindu Jagruti Manch organised violent demonstrations across the country, in protest.