Self-styled godman Phalahari Maharaj gets life term for sexual assault
Jaipur, Sep 26: A court in Rajasthan's Alwar district Wednesday sentenced 70-year-old self-styled godman Kaushlendra Prapanacharya Phalahari Maharaj to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman.
Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Sharma also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him. Defence counsel Ashok Sharma said they will appeal against the order in the higher court. Maharaj was booked by Alwar police in September last year following a complaint by the woman, in which she alleged that the godman sexually assaulted her when she visited his ashram to donate money.
The woman, a resident of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, had got an internship after completing her law studies and visited the ashram on August 7 last year. Following the complaint, a case was registered against the godman under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation). He was arrested on September 20 last year. Later, Maharaj was was subjected to virility test for forensic examination.
Prior to his arrest, the police had thoroughly searched his room at his ashram in Alwar and seized laptops, CDs and other gadgets and CCTV camera grabs. The police presented the chargesheet in the court in October last year. The accused had got himself admitted to a private hospital to evade arrest after the woman lodged the complaint against him.