Gandhinagar: Gandhinagar Sessions Court sentenced self-styled godman Asaram Bapu to life imprisonment in the 2013 sexual assault case.
A woman from Surat alleged that Asaram Bapu repeatedly raped her when she was at his ashram in Ahmedabad’s Motera around 10 years ago. As per the FIR lodged at Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad, Asaram Bapu allegedly raped the woman on several occasions from 2001 to 2006.
Under sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 354A (sexual harassment), 370(4) (trafficking), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, Asaram Bapu has been charged.
In the same case, Asaram Bapu’s son Narayan Sai was accused too. In 2019 he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the sessions court.
Asaram Bapu’s wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharati, and four female followers — Dhruvben, Nirmala, Jassi, and Meera were accused in the case too. The Gandhinagar Court acquitted them on the grounds of lack of evidence.
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“The court has accepted the prosecution case and convicted Asaram under sections 376 2(C) (rape), 377 (unnatural offenses), and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code for illegal detention, among others,” special public prosecutor RC Kodekar said on Monday.
Asaram is currently lodged in a jail in Jodhpur. He is serving imprisonment for raping another 16-year-old in his Jodhpur ashram in 2013. In this 2013 rape case, a trial court in Jodhpur convicted him.
At the time, he was convicted under Section 376 of the IPC, the Protection of Children under Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.
In August 2013, Asaram Bapu was arrested from Indore and brought to Jodhpur in September 2013.
In October 2013, a woman from Surat accused Bapu and seven other people of rape and unlawful detention; one of the defendants passed away while the case was pending.
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