Supreme Court asks Gujarat government for status report on Asaram rape case
The top court asked the state government to file the report by January 22.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat government to provide a status report on the trial of self-styled godman Asaram in a rape case, PTI reported. The top court was hearing another bail application Asaram had filed, and asked the state government to file a status report by January 22.
“Tell us what is the stage of trial in the pending cases against him,” a bench of Justices NV Ramana and AM Sapre said. “The state government should file the status report by January 22.”
Advocates Siddharth Luthra and Saurabh Ajay Gupta, appearing for Asaram, said there were two cases pending against him – one each in Gujarat and Rajasthan. They said that out of 92 witnesses in the case in Gujarat, 22 had been examined, and 14 dropped and the rest were yet to be questioned.
The counsel for the Gujarat government said she needed some time to file the report. The court then adjourned the matter until January 22.
In August 2017, the Supreme Court had asked the Gujarat government why it had not sped up the trial. It asked the state to file an affidavit in answer, and also wanted to know why the victim had not been examined yet.
Asaram was arrested for rape in August 2013, and has been in jail since. A woman had accused him of raping her in his ashram near Ahmedabad. The Supreme Court has rejected several of Asaram’s bail pleas. In January this year, the court had fined him Rs 1 lakh for submitting false medical evidence in his bail petition.