Rape case against Asaram Bapu: Verdict on April 25; Section 144 to be imposed to prevent Panchkula-like violence

Rape case against Asaram Bapu: Verdict to be pronounced from inside Jodhpur jail on April 25
File photo of Asaram Bapu in police custody. -Photo courtesy Zee News

Rajasthan High Court has directed the trial court, hearing a sexual assault case against Asaram, to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail to prevent a breach of law and order situation

The Hush Post: As a precaution to avoid any untoward incident on April 25 when the court will pronounce its judgement against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in a rape case, the Jodhpur Police have said they will impose Section 144 till April 30.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prevents the assembly of more than four people at one place in public. Meanwhile, arrangements for pronouncing the judgment in this case are being made within the Jodhpur Central Jail premises.

On Tuesday, the Rajasthan High Court had directed the trial court, hearing a case of sexual assault gainst the self-styled godman, to pronounce its verdict inside the Jodhpur jail to prevent a breach of law and order in the city. The high court had ordered the Jail Superintendent to make necessary arrangements at the jail premises.

“It cannot be said that (Asaram’s) followers will not create hurdle or unhealthy atmosphere which may create not only hardship and inconvenience to the public at large of Jodhpur city but also law and order problem,” the court order said.

Meanwhile, the Jodhpur district administration has tightened the security around 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,” a news agency quoted SP (City) Dinesh Tripathi as saying.

The development came after a request by the police requesting that it the verdict cannot be delivered in the court premises as it may lead to clashes between security forces and godman’s followers. The precautions have also been initiated taking a lesson from the clashes that broke out last year following the verdict in Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh case in Panchkula, Haryana  last year.

Asaram Bapu is facing trial charges under the sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He is in jail since August 2013.

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