Asaram rape case verdict out tomorrow, here's how case unfolded
The verdict in the Asaram sexual assault case is scheduled to be delivered on April 25. Jodhpur Police has beefed up security and also imposed Section 144 in the city.
Asaram is accused of raping a minor girl from Uttar Pradesh. The alleged rape took place in August 2013 and Asaram was arrested in the case in September the year. He has been in jail ever since.
Asaram's ashram on Pal Road in Jodhpur city has been cleared out. Asaram's followers have been asked to vacate the ashram and the police are trying to ensure that no one is allowed to stay inside the ashram in the run-up to the verdict.
The Uttar Pradesh police, meanwhile, have also stepped up security near the victim's house. "The security of the victim's family is continuously being monitored...Five policemen have been deployed at the house and a strict vigil is being maintained on all the visitors," SP (City) Dinesh Tripathi told PTI.
Earlier this month, Judge Madhu Sudan Sharma of the Jodhpur court heard the final arguments from the prosecution and defence counsels for five months and reserved the order for April 25.
Here's how the case unfolded:
- Asaram (77) was charged with raping a minor girl in Jodhpur's Manai village. The incident took place in August 2013. An FIR against Asaram was registered in Delhi's Kamla Nagar police station on August 20, 2013 after which the police took the victim for medical tests.
- Asaram has also been accused of trafficking, rape. He has been booked under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) which could entail stringent punishment.
- Asaram was then arrested on September 1, 2013. The police had filed an FIR under sections 342, 376, 354 A, 506, 509/34 of the IPC, Sections 23, 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 8 of the POCSO Act.
- A chargesheet was submitted on November 6, 2013. In the chargesheet, Asaram and the other accused were booked under Section 370(4), 342, 354 A, 376, 376(2)(F), 376(D), 506, 509/34, 109, 120 B of the IPC, Sections 5 (F)(G)/6, 7/8, 17 of the POCSO Act and Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
- The prosecution recorded statements of the witnesses from March 2014 to August 2016. In the five years that Asaram has been in jail and trial against him began, nine witnesses have been attacked out of which three died.
- The victim's statement was recorded in Aril 2014. Asaram and other accused recorded their statement in October 2016.
- Final arguments in the trial completed in March 2018 after which the Jodhpur court decided that the verdict will be delivered on April 25, 2018.
- Asaram also has another case where two sisters from Surat, Gujarat lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai. The two sisters accused Asaram and his son of rape and illegal confinement.
- If convicted by the Court, Asaram can be sentenced to a minimum of three years of imprisonment. The maximum punishment in the case is of life imprisonment.
- The Jodhpur Police has beefed up security in the city ahead of the verdict on April 25. Section 144 has been imposed from April 21 to April 30. The police have also vacated Asaram's ashram in Jodhpur.
(With inputs from PTI)
Also read: Inside Asaram's Evil Empire