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SC slams Gujarat government for slow trial in Asaram Bapu rape case

SC slams Gujarat government for slow trial in Asaram Bapu rape case

Three days after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of raping two women in 2002, the Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Gujarat government for slow trial in the rape case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

A bench comprising justices N V Ramanna and Amitava Roy asked the state government why the victim has not been examined till now, reported PTI.

The Supreme Court also asked the Gujarat government to file an affidavit in this regard.

The apex court had on April 12 asked the trial court in Gujarat to expedite the recording of evidence of prosecution witnesses in a sexual assault case lodged by two Surat-based sisters against the self-styled godman, the report added.

The court had then asked the Surat trial court to record the testimonies of 46 remaining prosecution witnesses including the alleged rape victims.

The top court earlier refused to grant bail to the rape convict on various grounds including his poor health.

There are two separate sexual assault cases against him lodged in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

While dismissing his bail plea on January 30, the court observed that Asaram had placed ‘fake documents’ in order for the court to grant him bail, following which the court ordered registration of an FIR against those responsible for preparing and filing the alleged fake papers.

The two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing him of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges, the report said.

The elder sister had accused him of sexually assaulting her during her stay in his ashram between 2001 and 2006.

In the case in Rajasthan, a teenage girl, a student living in his ashram, had accused him of sexual assault at the ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur.

The apex court had noted that trial in the matter was unnecessarily prolonged and the prosecution witnesses were being attacked, which led to the death of two witnesses.

Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur Police on August 31, 2013 and has been in jail since then.

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