New Delhi Aug 31(ILNS): The Supreme Court, today, dismissed the plea of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu for interim bail to avail Ayurvedic medical treatment in Uttarakhand, till the reopening of the Court.
The matter was listed before the bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice V. Ramasubramanian, and Justice Bela M. Trivedi.
“In this sort of situation, taking an overall view, it’s not an ordinary crime at all. You’ll get all your Ayurvedic treatment in jail,” noted the Bench.
Senior Advocate R. Basant, representing Asaram, submitted, “All that is being asked is interim bail for two months for Ayurvedic treatment by an 85-year-old man subject to Court’s condition, so that I can keep my body & soul together. Mercy is all that I’m asking for.”
But the bench was not inclined to grant bail to Asaram and dismissed his petition.
Supreme Court Issued Notice
The Supreme Court had, on June 4, issued notice on a petition filed by convicted godman Asaram Bapu, challenging a Rajasthan High Court order, dismissing his plea for temporary suspension of sentence to avail ayurvedic medical treatment.
Counter Affidavit of State of Rajasthan
The State of Rajasthan had filed its reply against the plea of Asaram on June 7. In its reply, it submitted that Asaram, under the garb of his medical treatment, desiring to get his sentence suspended, has made two attempts of this kind earlier also, in 2014 and 2016 and during both times, the apex court had created a committee of Doctors, which had found that Asaram’s health condition was stable and he was not as critical that it would require any surgical management of the disease.
“Asaram has made a third attempt to get his sentence suspended, under the garb of medical treatment. In the previous round of petitions, the accused had prayed for immediate medical surgery of his ailment, through the allopathic method, which failed, and now through the present petition, he has raised his concern to get his treatment from Ayurveda. Asaram has placed on record a clinical summary on February 17, 2021, issued by MM Hospital Jodhpur, wherein he was advised coronary angiography, which was refused by him,” the reply said.
The reply of the State of Rajasthan also highlighted that the clinical summary of MM Hospital does not specify any specific health problem of immediate attention and such surgery or angiography cannot be done at Ayurveda Hospital.
The reply further submitted that AIIMS Jodhpur has cardiologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, urologists, orthopedic consultants, and experienced Ayurvedacharyas are available at Ayurveda University Hospital, Jodhpur and they are capable of treating Asaram effectively.
“Also, Asaram is facing trial at Sessions Court Gandhi Nagar, Gujrat under Sections 376, 377, 354, 357, 342, 346, IPC and also at MM Court, Jodhpur under Sections 353, 355, 384, 177, 189, 120 (B) IPC and Section 66 of IT Act,” it added.
“Asaram, with an ulterior motive, has been attempting to change the venue of his custody, under the guise of medical treatment. Such change would be an abuse of process of law,” said the Rajasthan government.
“Asaram is deliberately doing this to delay the pending trail at Gandhi Nagar and Jodhpur and he is stable and fit,” it added.
A self-styled Indian spiritual guru Asaram Bapu, who claims millions of followers worldwide, has been given a life sentence for raping a 16-year-old girl. Asaram Bapu was convicted of the 2013 attack on the girl, a devotee at his ashram in Jodhpur, by a court in the city’s jail.
Asaram was arrested in 2013 after a case of sexual assault was filed against him by two of his followers, who alleged that he had assaulted their daughter.
Police said the couple, who had sent the girl to one of his ashrams for spiritual lessons, were summoned to see her as she was “under the influence of some supernatural ghostly powers”. They were then told to take their daughter to Jodhpur to meet the guru.
The family reached the Jodhpur ashram on August 14, 2013. The following night, Asaram called the victim to his room on the pretext of ‘curing’ her. He then raped the victim, while her parents waited outside chanting his prayers, police said.
Police also said the guru forced the victim to perform sexual acts on him and threatened to murder her family if she spoke about the incident. The victim told her parents what had happened the following day./ILNS/AV/SNG