HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

SC issues notice for Asaram's bail application

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 03, 2014
First Published: 22:32 IST(3/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:39 IST(3/7/2014)

The Supreme Court Thursday issued notice to the Rajasthan government on the bail application of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, arrested for raping a minor.
Impleading the complainant's father as a respondent in the matter, a bench headed by Justice TS Thakur also sought response to the 76-year-old's demand to let him produce documents before the trial court to show the victim wasn't a minor on the date of the alleged incident. It even issued notices the co-accused – facing abetment charges - on cross-appeals filed by the victim's father challenging their release on bail.
It did not stay the trial before a court in Jodhpur. While the victim has already deposed the parents would record their statement on July 15.
The bench, however, refused to entertain Asaram Bapu's plea in a rape case lodged against him in Surat in Gujarat. His counsel Saurabh Gupta said: "We had approached SC directly against the trial court order. But, the court has asked us to first move the Gujarat High Court. If we fail there then we can move the SC again."
Besides facing charges under the rape law in Jodhpur, Asaram Bapu is also booked under various sections of the stringent Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) under which bail can be given only in extraordinary circumstances. Certain provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act are also slapped against him.

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