Bail plea rejected, Asaram to remain in jail

Jodhpur, Sep 4 : A Rajasthan court in Jodhpur city Wednesday rejected the bail plea of controversial spiritual guru Asaram Bapu who was arrested for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, lawyers said.

Asaram, 72, is currently lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail after a court Monday sent him to 14-day judicial custody.

District and Sessions Judge (Rural) of Jodhpur Manoj Vyas rejected Asaram's bail plea after the prosecution opposed his application.

Public prosecutor Anand Purohit told reporters here: "We raised issues regarding threat to police officials connected with investigations and also that two of his close aides...are still missing, so he (Asaram) should not be given bail, as he can influence them."

"It seems we have been successful in satisfying the court that the incident falls under the non-bailable (offence) category so he should not be given bail," he added.

Asaram's lawyer Jagmal Singh Chaudhary said the rejection of bail plea would be challenged in the Rajasthan High Court.

"We will approach the high court in a day or two after going through the order," he said.

Asaram, who was arrested from his ashram in Indore in Madhya Pradesh last week, sought bail claiming that police erred in booking him under rape charge, which is non-bailable.

The spiritual guru was sent to judicial custody after questioning at a guest house of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary.

The 16-year-old girl alleged that the sexual assault took place Aug 15 at Asaram's ashram outside Jodhpur city and the complaint was filed by her Aug 20. The spiritual guru has denied the charge. Police, however, claimed they had a water-tight case against him.

--IANS (Posted on 04-09-2013)

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