File photo of Asaram Bapu. (Photo: IANS)
File photo of Asaram Bapu. (Photo: IANS)

Self-styled godman Asaram convicted in rape case


Jodhpur, April 25, 2018

Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was on Wednesday convicted by the Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court for raping a minor girl in his ashram here in Rajasthan in 2013.
The judgement in the case was pronounced by SC/ST cases special judge Madhu Sudan Sharma inside the Jodhpur Central Jail, where Asaram Bapu is lodged.
He has been convicted under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.
The court is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment later. The 77-year-old godman could face upto 10 years of jail.
The charge-sheet against Asaram Bapu and four other co-accused Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad and Prakash was filed by the police on November 6, 2013 under various sections of the Posco Act, Juvenile Justice Act and IPC.
Informed sources said the court also convicted Shilpi (warden of the Ashram) and Sharad while Shiva and Prakas have been acquitted in the case.
Asaram Bapu is facing trial in two sexual assault cases: one here in Rajasthan and the other in Gujarat. 
The final arguments in the case were completed in the Jodhpur court by Special Judge Sharma on April 7.
Asaram Bapu was arrested in 2013 on the complaint filed by a teenage girl from Uttar Pradesh's Shahajahanpur. She had accused him of raping her at his Jodhpur ashram in August that year. 
Asaram was brought from Indore and jailed in the Jodhpur Central jail.
The victim, was a Class 12 student at his Chhindwara Ashram in Madhya Pradesh. She was raped by Asaram in his ashram during her stay in Manai village on the outskirts here.
He was earlier denied bail by the Supreme Court.
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