Explain manhandling of Asaram’s counsel: HC to SHO
The Rajasthan High Court Monday issued notice to the station house officer of Udaimandir police station directing him to explain within three days the alleged manhandling of a senior advocate by policemen on the district court premises on SaturdayUpdated: Jan 08, 2018 21:08 IST
The Rajasthan High Court Monday issued notice to the station house officer of Udaimandir police station directing him to explain within three days the alleged manhandling of a senior advocate by policemen on the district court premises on Saturday.
A stampede like situation occurred Saturday in the district court campus when police lathicharged followers of rape accused self-styled godman Asaram Bapu. When Asaram’s counsel Sajjanraj Surana opposed the lathicharge, then Udaimandir SHO Madan Beniwal allegedly pushed him.
A video of the incident was uploaded on social media and shared several times. On Monday, advocates in the principal bench of the Rajasthan High Court and the district court campus protested against the police action.
Meanwhile, hassled by the followers of Asaram gathering in large numbers during his court appearances in the rape case, police have again moved a petition in Rajasthan High Court for shifting the trial to jail premises.
During the hearing of the petition on Monday, the division bench of Justices Gopal Krishna Vyas and Vinit Kumar Mathur said the police can take legal action against the followers of Asaram, who create ruckus in the court premises, but cannot behave indecently with the advocates.
Court asked Udaimandir SHO why he manhandled the senior advocate to which the police official replied that he did not know that Surana was an advocate. The SHO said that often times Asaram’s followers reach the court dressed like advocates. The court then asked the SHO to submit a written explanation within three days.
The bench also ordered Asaram’s counsel to control his followers during the next date of hearing. The court also warned that if they failed to do so, the trial would be shifted to jail.
The HC registrar general had in 2015 ordered to conduct the trial in the rape case against Asaram in the jail. The order was challenged by Asaram in HC. A division bench of HC had allowed the trial of the case in the court premises on the condition that Asaram would not make comments to media and appeal to his followers not to make a scene on the court premises and on the road from the jail to court.
Additional Advocate General Shivkumar Vyas said in the court that Asaram’s followers couldn’t be controlled. Therefore, to maintain law and order, it was necessary that the trial be shifted to the jail premises.
A teenage girl had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. He was arrested by Jodhpur police on August 31, 2013 and is in jail since then. The next hearing has been scheduled for January 17.
First Published: Jan 08, 2018 21:08 IST