The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition by religious leader Asaram seeking to suspend the life sentence he is serving in two cases of rape considering his deteriorating health, PTI reported.

In January 2023, a court in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar had sentenced Asaram to life imprisonment for raping one of his disciples in 2013. The religious leader was already serving a life term for raping a 16-year-old girl. In 2018, he was convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The religious leader has been serving his term at a Jodhpur jail since 2013.

Asaram’s petition in the Supreme Court on Friday challenged the Rajasthan High Court’s January 11 order that refused to suspend his sentence or grant him interim medical bail.

Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Devadatt Kamat, representing the religious leader, told the Supreme Court that Asaram needed a coronary artery bypass procedure and medical treatment for other ailments, Bar and Bench reported. Rohatgi added that the facilities needed for Asaram’s medical treatment were not available in Jodhpur.

Rohatgi said that the religious leader, who is 82 years old, was willing to accept the public prosecutor’s statement that he avail treatment at the Madhavbaug Heart Hospital at Maharashtra’s Khopoli.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta asked Asaram to move the Rajasthan High Court with an application for treatment at the hospital in Maharashtra. The religious leader was then asked to withdraw his petition from the top court.

The bench also said that deliberate attempts were being made by Asaram to delay the hearing of his appeal at the Rajasthan High Court against his conviction, reported Bar and Bench. It directed the High Court to expediate the hearing.