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Rape case against Asaram: Court reserves order for April 25

By PTI
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    A special SC/ST court on Saturday reserved its order for April 25 in a 2012 rape case against self-styled godman Asaram after the final arguments were completed.

    Asaram Bapu

    Judge Madhu Sudan Sharma heard the final arguments from the prosecution and defence counsels for five months. The final arguments were completed today, victim's counsel P C Solanki said.

    The court reserved the order for April 25, he said.

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

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

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

    He is also facing a rape case in Gujarat.

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

    The Supreme Court had yesterday pulled up the Gujarat Police for delay in completion of recording of evidence in one of the rape cases against self-styled preacher Asaram Bapu, lodged in Jodhpur jail, and directed it to conclude the process within five weeks.

    Asaram's counsel had on January 15 told the court that in the Gujarat case, out of 92 witnesses, 22 material witnesses have been examined, 14 of them have been dropped and rest need to be examined.

    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.

    PTI

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