SC refuses bail to Asaram, slaps Rs 1 lakh fine for false report
New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday refused bail to godman Asaram Bapu, saying his health condition wasn’t such that he can’t be treated in Jodhpur and imposed a cost of Rs one lakh for relying on an alleged false report purportedly given by the jail superintendent on his health condition.
Asaram, lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail, is facing a trial under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl. In jail since September 2, 2013, the 72-year-old guru was arrested after the 16-year-old girl lodged a police complaint on August 20, 2013, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur.
Noting that Asaram has difficulty in urination, the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice N.V. Ramana said: “We are of the view that the present condition is not such a serious condition, as would entail the transfer of the petitioner from one jail to another, or to require him to be subjected to any kind of specialized treatment, at some different station.”
Rejecting plea by Asaram seeking modification of October 24, 2016 order refusing him bail, the bench in its order said: “The medical condition of the petitioner has been described as stable, and as such, there is no question of extending him the concession of bail on medical grounds.”
The bench described Asaram’s condition as stable as it referred to the report of medical board of eight senior doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences who had examined him on the directions of the court.
“Findings from the extent of completed evaluation reveal the petitioner’s (Asaram) medical condition as ‘Stable'”, the board had said in its September 21, 2016 report to the top court, bt noted the evaluation of his prostate ailment remained incomplete because of Asaram’s refusal to undergo required tests.
The court also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on Asaram for filing a false report purportedly where the Superintendent of the Jodhpur Central Jail supported his medical condition. It was contended that the said that the jail superintendent had said this in response to an RTI query.
In the course of the last hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had described the report purportedly by the jail superintendent as being “forged”.
Rejecting Asaram’s unconditional apology, the court directed registering of an FIR in the matter.