Self-styled spiritual guru Asaram, in jail over charges of sexually assaulting two girls, told the Supreme Court on Friday that he was being projected as Dracula who drank children’s blood.
But the dramatic plea by the 72-year-old ‘godman’ failed to move the apex court bench headed by chief justice P Sathasivam who said that it cannot ask the media -- both visual and print -- not to report on information they get from police or other sources.
Asaram’s plea was made by his counsel who told the court that his client was being projected as the blood-sucking Dracula who preyed on children.
Count Dracula, the protagonist of Irish author Bram Stoker’s cult novel of the same name, lived on human blood and is one of the English literature’s most famous characters which have fascinated bibliophiles across the world.
The novel has been made into numerous Hollywood -- and even Bollywood -- films and the character has come to be associated with anything evil with a human face.
Asaram’s counsel claimed that the media was reporting that the self-styled spiritual guru’s wife and daughter were supplying him girls.
The counsel also told the court that he was not seeking restraint on the entire media, but only two news channels which were regularly carrying allegedly slanderous reports about Asaram.
While Asaram is in jail over charges of sexual abuse on two women, his son Narayan Sai is also facing similar charges. He, however, absconding.
A Gandhinagar court on Wednesday rejected Asaram’s bail application in the rape case lodged against him by a woman from Surat.
Sessions judge DT Soni rejected Asaram’s bail plea on the grounds that the investigation in the case was at a “crucial juncture” and the allegations against him were of a “serious nature”.
The woman has accused the Asaram of repeated sexual assault between 1997 and 2006, when she lived in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Her younger sister has accused his son Narayan Sai of sexual assault.
The Surat police recently registered complaints by the two sisters against Asaram and his son for rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges.
Asaram was brought to Surat earlier this month on a transit remand from a court in Jodhpur, where he was lodged in jail since August in another rape case filed by a 16-year-old girl.
He was grilled by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the city police commissioner to probe the complaint against him. Last week, he was taken back to Jodhpur.
His son Narayan Sai is absconding and Surat police are searching for him.
Meanwhile, Jaswantika Chaudhary, a security woman stationed at Asaram’s ashram in Ahmedabad, was granted anticipatory bail in the case on the grounds that her role in the incident was minimal. She was named as an accused in the complaint lodged against Asaram.