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SC directs medical examination of Asaram Bapu

Posted on Aug 19 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 19 : The Supreme Court Tuesday directed a medical board be set up to examine spiritual guru Asaram Bapu for a medical condition which causes severe headaches to those afflicted by it.

Meanwhile, Asaram Bapu will continue to remain in jail as the court said his bail plea will only be considered after all the material witnesses in the case have deposed before the trial court.

The 72-year-old guru was arrested last year after a 16-year-old girl lodged a police complaint on Aug 20, 2013, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur.

A bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi Tuesday directed the principal of Jodhpur-based S.N. Medical College to constitute a team of doctors that will examine Asaram for trigeminal neuralgia, which causes severe pain on the face or the forehead, and the course of treatment required.

The court said the report of the medical board will be submitted to it by Sep 23, when the matter will be further heard. The medical board will comprise a maxillofacial surgeon, neutron surgeon and dental surgeon.

On his bail plea, the court was told that though the victim has already deposed, her parents and doctor have yet to appear and be examined by the trial court.

As senior counsel Salman Khurshid appearing for Asaram pleaded for bail, it was stoutly opposed by counsel Kamini Jaiswal who told the court that supporters of Asaram were creating problems and his release would compound the problems.

The court was also told that the jail authorities were giving medical assistance to Asaram but he was insisting on ayurveda treatment.

As Khursid told the court that trial was getting delayed because the courts were not functioning, the apex court bench said that if courts are not functioning, then would it mean that all the undertrials should be granted bail.

At this, the court was told that the Rajasthan High Court had ordered day to day hearing of the matter but it was Asaram and other accused who were delaying the trial.

"The high court has ordered day to day trial of the case but they (the accused) are the ones who are delaying it," Jaiswal told the court.

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