Controversial self-styled godman and rape convict Asaram Bapu was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Gandhinagar in connection with a rape case registered in 2013.
Public Prosecutor RC Kodekar said that he was sentenced under IPC Sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural offences) in the sexual assault case. The court has also ordered Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to the victim, reported ANI.
The case pertains to a complaint by a Surat-based woman disciple in October 2013 who accused Asaram of rape on several occasions from 2001-2006 when she was living at his ashram at Motera near Ahmedabad in Gujarat. An FIR was lodged at the Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad.
He is convicted under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 2 (C) (rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 342 (wrongful detention), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 357 (assault) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Meanwhile, six accused in the case, including Asaram’s wife Laxmiben, their daughter, and four disciples who were accused of aiding and abetting the crime, for want of evidence, were acquitted by the court, the prosecution said.
Asaram is currently lodged in a Jodhpur jail, where he is serving life sentence in another case of raping a minor girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013, reported PTI.
It may be recalled that while Asaram was in jail, several key witnesses in the case went missing or died under various circumstances. Asaram’s doctor Amrut Prajapat was shot in 2014 in Gujarat’s Rajkot. His cook Akhil Gupta was also killed in 2015 in Uttar Pradesh.