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Verdict in rape case against Asaram to be pronounced on jail premises: HC

Press Trust of India  |  Jodhpur 

The High Court today allowed a plea by the for pronouncement of trial court verdict in a rape case against self-styled 'god-man' on premises of central jail, where he is lodged, and directed the authorities to deploy adequate security personnel to ensure that his followers do no create any law and order problem in the city.

The high court directed the court of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, to conduct proceedings for pronouncement of judgment in the case against on the jail premises on the fixed date of April 25.

A bench of justices and also directed the of Central Jailand the police and district administration to make all arrangements for the proceedings in the central jail.

It cannot be said that (Asaram's) followers will not create hurdle or unhealthy atmosphere which may create not only hardship and inconvenience to the public at large of Jodhpur city, but also law and order problem, the court said in its order.

The advocates will be permitted to remain present at the time of pronouncement of judgment.

The and district administration officials were also directed by the court to make all arrangements to provide protection to people and properties in Jodhpur city and to ensure that no inconvenience and hurdle are created by the followers of the accused.

Adequate police force will be deployed for the purpose of law and order situation in Jodhpur on the judgment day on April 25, it said.

Police had said that the force had requested that the judgement should not be pronounced in court premises as it may lead to clashes between security personnel and the godman's followers.

Last year, over 40 persons were killed and scores injured during violence in that erupted following the conviction of self-styled 'godman' Gurmeet in a rape case by a

"We have moved an application requesting the pronouncement of judgement in the case in the jail's court in view of the threat to law and order situation in the city," S Vyas said yesterday.

In its application, the police had stated that there would be a huge presence of Asaram's followers in the city on the judgment day, and that they might indulge in vandalism after the pronouncement in the case.

It also noted in their plea that such a step was also necessary for the safety and security of and the general public.

The special SC/ST trial court had completed the final arguments in the case on April 7.

A teenage girl had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village. The girl, who belonged to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student living in the ashram.

Asaram, who is in jail since 31 August, 2013, was charged under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the said.

If convicted, Asaram faces maximum sentence of 10 years, he said.

He is also facing a rape case in

Earlier, the apex court had refused to grant bail to Asaram on various grounds in the two sexual assault cases lodged in and

Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 19:00 IST