A Gandhi Nagar court on Tuesday sentenced Asaram Bapu to life imprisonment for raping two Surat sisters in 2013.
The prosecution on Tuesday claimed that Asaram Bapu is a habitual offender and sought life imprisonment along with a heavy fine on the self-styled godman.
Asaram Bapu is already lodged in Jodhpur jail in the case of raping a female disciple. A case was registered against a total of 7 accused. In this, except Asaram, 6 accused have been acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Asaram’s son Narayan Sai was also an accused in the case. Asaram’s wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharati and four female followers – Dhruvben, Nirmala, Jassi and Meera – were also named as accused in the case. All of them were acquitted by the Gandhinagar court.
In 2018, a trial court in Jodhpur convicted him in a separate sexual assault case and sentenced him to prison. He was found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in his Jodhpur ashram in 2013.
The then 77-year-old cleric was convicted under IPC section 376, sexual offenses under the Protection of Children (POCSO) Act and the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. Asaram was arrested from Indore in August 2013 and brought to Jodhpur in September 2013.
According to the FIR lodged at Ahmedabad’s Chandkheda police station, Asaram raped the woman several times between 2001 and 2006, when she lived at his ashram on the outskirts of the city.
Public Prosecutor RC Kodekar said on Monday that the court accepted the prosecution’s case and convicted Asaram under sections 376 (2) (c), 377 (unnatural sex) and illegal confinement of the Indian Penal Code.
In October 2013, an Indian-based woman filed a case against Asaram and seven others alleging rape and illegal confinement. One of the accused died during the pendency of the trial. A charge sheet was filed in the case in July 2014.