Rajasthan HC suspends Asaram’s accomplice sentence in minor’s rape

Jodhpur | The Rajasthan High Court on Friday suspended the sentence of one of the convicts in a rape case involving self-styled godman Asaram.

The Jodhpur bench of the high court suspended the sentence of Asaram’s aide Sharat Chandra, who had been awarded a 20-year jail term along with another aide Sanchita Gupta alias Shilpi for conspiring in the rape case.

Shilpi’s 20-year jail term too was suspended earlier on September 29 by the high court.

Asaram and his two aides were convicted earlier on April 25 by a POCSO court on charges of raping a minor girl over five years ago on the pretext of exorcising evil spirits from her in his Manai ashram near here. He was sentenced to life in jail.

Sharat Chandra’s sentence was suspended by the high court’s bench of Justice Vijay Bishnoi.

The high court suspended the sentence of Sahrat. However, he would have to appear in the court once a year till the hearing of the appeal against the sentence is completed,” said Sharat Chandra’s counsel Nishant Bora.

He said his client had been convicted under POCSO Act by the trial court and was awarded “such a harsh punishment” despite his name not being there in the FIR.

All three convicts had moved the high court challenging their conviction and sentences. While the sentences of the two co-convicts in the case have been suspended, Asaram’s application for the suspension of his sentence is still pending with the court.

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