The Gujarat high court on Wednesday reserved its order on petitions moved by self-styled godman Asaram and his son Narayan Sai seeking quashing of FIRs of sexual assault lodged against them by two Surat-based sisters.
Justice AJ Desai heard the arguments of counsel of Asaram, Sai and government pleader and reserved his ruling. The FIRs were filed in Ahmedabad and Surat early in October.
Asaram's counsel Yatin Oza on Wednesday said the FIR against his client was full of prejudices, which cannot be the basis of any first information report. Allegations in the FIR that Asaram's wife and daughter had connived in the commission of the crime are "reckless", he maintained.
Oza argued the statements of those who have left Asaram's ashram (where the sisters had once resided) have been taken but the same has not been done in the case of people who were in the ashram then and are staying now. This denotes the prejudice behind the lodging of FIR, he added.
The delay in filing the FIR has not been properly explained and it contains no independent statement pointing to commission of the crime, Oza said.
The FIR, he said, is a concentrated effort to put the entire family (of the controversial guru) behind bars.
Government pleader Prakash Jani said probe in the case was at a crucial juncture. The girl (who filed the FIR against Asaram) and her family had joined the ashram for salvation and looked upon the self-styled godman as a guru but she instead had to undergo mental torture and suffering at his hands.
Sai's counsel Nirupam Nanavati had concluded his arguments last week.
Asaram was brought to the city last week on a transit remand from Jodhpur. Thereafter, the 72-year-old was quizzed extensively by Ahmedabad Police during the seven-day remand granted by a magisterial court in Gandhinagar. He was taken back to Jodhpur on Tuesday.
An SIT of Ahmedabad Police is probing the sexual assault case filed against Asaram.
The elder of the two sisters had accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her between 1997 and 2006 when she had been living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
The younger one had filed a complaint against Sai, who is absconding, accusing him of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living in Surat ashram.