Asaram’s fall from grace, from godman to rape accused
Asaram has been in custody since August 2013 after a minor girl from Uttar Pradesh filed a complaint accusing the self-styled godman of sexually assaulting her at his Jodhpur ashram.india Updated: Apr 24, 2018 19:27 IST
A special court in Jodhpur will pronounce its verdict in the Asaram Bapu case, where the self-styled godman stands accused of illegal confinement and rape of a minor.
The girl and her parents had filed a complaint in August 2013, on the basis of which Asaram was arrested and has been in judicial custody since then. The special court is set to pronounce its April 25 verdict in this case. In a separate case, two Surat-based sisters had also filed a complaint of sexual assault and rape against Asaram and his son, Narayan Sai, which is being heard in the Gujarat High Court.
Here’s how the rape cases against Asaram have progressed:
August 20, 2013: A 15-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh files a police complaint in Delhi, accusing Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur on August 15.
August 21, 2013: The case is shifted to Jodhpur and an FIR lodged.
August 31, 2013: Asaram arrested from Indore.
September 1, 2013: The godman is produced in Jodhpur court, potency test conducted.
September 2, 2013: Asaram remanded in judicial custody.
November 6, 2013: Chargesheet filed in the Jodhpur rape case.
February 2014: Rakesh Patel, the husband of one of the complainants in the Surat rape case against Asaram, is knifed in the city, survives the attack.
May 2014: Asaram’s personal aide, Amrut Prajapati, who turned on him and was a key witness is shot dead while another associate, Akhil Gupta, is killed the following year.
August 1, 2014: Asaram rushed to a hospital after he complains of ill-health. Asaram also complains of severe pain on the left part of his face.
August 19, 2014: Supreme Court does not grant bail to Asaram but agrees to set up a board of doctors to examine his medical condition.
September 23, 2014: The Supreme Court says Asaram’s health is not so precarious as to release him on bail immediately.
October 15, 2014: The Supreme Court asks AIIMS director to set up a medical board to review Asaram’s health reports and clinically examine him, if required. This was in response to Asaram’s plea that he needs bail for medical treatment.
January 2015: Witness Akhil Gupta shot dead in Muzaffarnagar; worked as a cook for Asaram.
January 5, 2015: The report by a panel of AIIMS doctors tells the Supreme Court that Asaram does not require any surgery and can be treated through medicines.
January 11, 2015: A witness in the Asaram Bapu’s Surat rape case, 35-year-old Akhil Gupta, is shot dead by unidentified assailants on Jansath Road.
January 20, 2015: Supreme Court dismisses the interim bail plea of Asaram, on the basis of a report of AIIMS doctors that he does not require any surgery.
February 2015: Rahul Sachan, a witness in the rape case, is stabbed at the Jodhpur court premises in February 2015.
May 13, 2015: Two unidentified assailants shoot at Mahender Chawla, a key witness in the sexual abuse case against controversial ashram head Asaram and his son Narayan Sai.
July 2015: Kirpal Singh Shot, another prosecution withness, is shot in Shahjahanpur in July 2015, dies at the hospital.
November 25, 2015: Witness Rahul Sachan goes missing from Kaiserbagh bus stand in Lucknow. Call data records of his cellphone show his last location at Mallahwan in Hardoi district on April 9.
August 29, 2016: Allahabad high court orders a CBI inquiry into the disappearance of an important witness.
January 30, 2017: Police to file fresh charges against Asaram for allegedly submitting forged documents seeking release from jail, says the Supreme Court.
April 12, 2017: Apex court asks the trial court in Gujarat to expedite the recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses in asexual assault case lodged by two sisters against Asaram.
April 7, 2018: A special SC/ST court in Jodhpur on Saturday reserves its order for April 25 in the rape case against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu after the final arguments were completed.
April 17, 2018: Rajasthan high court directs the special SC/ST court in Jodhpur to pronounce its verdict in the rape case against Asaram.
April 25, 2018: The special court in Jodhpur is set to pronounce its verdict in the rape case against Asaram.
Compiled by HT Infocentre