The prosecution alleged in a court in Gandhinagar on Tuesday that Asaram Bapu, convicted in a rape case brought by a former female disciple in 2013, was a “common offender” and sought life imprisonment for the self-styled godman in the case along with a hefty fine .
Sessions District Court Judge DK Soni closed the hearing with the arguments on the amount of the sentence and reserved the final ruling for 3:30 p.m., Special Prosecutor RC Kodekar said.
The 81-year-old godman is currently imprisoned in a Jodhpur jail, serving life sentences in another case of raping an underage girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013.
The Gandhinagar court in Gujarat on Monday sentenced Asaram in a case registered in 2013 for raping a female disciple from Surat several times from 2001 to 2006 when she lived at his ashram in Motera near Ahmedabad.
“There is a provision of life imprisonment or 10 years imprisonment for the offense that Asaram has been convicted of by the court. But we have argued that he has already been sentenced in another similar case in Jodhpur, which is why he is a habitual offender,” said Kodekar told reporters out of court after the arguments ended.
He demanded that Asaram be considered a common offender and receive the most severe punishment.
“We have submitted to the court that Asaram should receive the harshest punishment for the way he imprisoned the victim, raped and sodomized her and forced her to stay locked up in the ashram. We told the court that he should receive life imprisonment The judge must also impose a heavy fine on him, including compensation to the victim, “said the public prosecutor.
The defense lawyer said he has no objection to 10 years in prison for the imprisoned godman, Kodekar added.
The court sentenced Asaram on Monday under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 2 (C) (rape), 377 (unnatural crimes), 342 (wrongful detention), 354 (assault or criminal violence against a woman with intent to modesty), 357 (sexual assault) and 506 (criminal harassment), in the 2013 case brought by his former female disciple.
The court had acquitted six other defendants, including Asaram’s wife Laxmiben, their daughter and four disciples charged with complicity in the crime, for lack of evidence, the prosecution said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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