Asaram will have to remain behind bars for now, as a Jodhpur court denied him bail on Wednesday contending that he was an influential person and could affect the investigation.
The self-styled godman is currently lodged in Jodhpur central jail for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram near Jodhpur on August 15.
District and sessions judge MK Vyas pronounced the verdict around 5.00pm to a packed courtroom after reserving the decision early in the day.
“Some more persons, including hostel warden Shilpi, principal of Chhindwara Gurukul Sharad Kumar and Asaram’s personal cook Prakash, who was present during the assault, are absconding and their interrogation is necessary to complete the investigation. If Asaram gets bail, he will try to influence or threaten these people,” prosecution lawyer Anand Purohit told the court.
Asaram’s counsel Jagmal Singh Choudhary said, “We will move the high court soon.”
Purohit argued that Asaram evaded arrest for 12 days after the case was registered against him and his supporters attacked media.
“The Jodhpur DCP was threatened in a fax message yesterday and now I could be threatened by Asaram’s supporters, too,” said Purohit.
Confirming life threats to the Jodhpur DCP, the investigating officer of the case, ACP Chanchal Mishra told reporters that some supporters of Asaram had even tried to bribe the police team that had gone to arrest him.
Alleging that he was also being threatened, the victim’s father urged the court to involve him in the hearing.
Meanwhile, the same court sent Asaram’s close aide Shiva to three days of police custody. Arrested on Monday for abetment of crime, Shiva told police that Asaram used to meet females in isolation. He also confirmed that the godman met the victim at his Manai ashram on August 15.