NEW DELHI: Self-styled “godman” Asaram, who is in jail for the last two years, has moved a fresh application in a court here seeking bail on the ground of old age and ill health in a rape case lodged against him.
The 74-year-old has been denied relief on six occasions earlier. He was sent to jail in August, 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl. The move has come a day after Asaram got relief from the High Court, which allowed the defence to not only have access to the original documents pertaining to the age of the victim teenage girl but examination of the concerned witnesses also. The bail application will be taken up by the court for hearing on December 21.
According to the sources, BJP leader Subramanian Swami may appear in the court for the second time as a pleader to take up Asaram’s bail plea. The ground for bail, like previous applications, is again the old age and ill health, victim’s counsel Pramod Verma said. “Besides this, he has also mentioned in the application that the trial of the case was nearing completion with the last prosecution witness, the Investigation Officer of the case, being examined,” said Verma.
He said that while moving the bail plea, the counsels for Asaram also cited heart attack to Asaram’s wife to judge Manoj Kumar Vyas. On Friday, the High Court, while allowing a Criminal Miscellaneous Petition by one of the co-accused in the case, Sharat Chandra, had ordered the trial court to summon the original documents pertaining to the age of the victim girl and has entitled the defence to prove these documents by examining the witnesses concerned.
Earlier, three bail petitions of Asaram were turned down by lower court. Apart from the lower courts, he had twice unsuccessfully approached the High Court and was also denied relief by the Supreme Court.