The Jodhpur court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking entry of media persons in Central Jail of Jodhpur for the coverage of Asaram rape case judgment, news agency ANI reported.
Ahead of the pronouncement of the verdict in a high-profile rape case in which self-styled godman Asaram Bapu is an accused, the Jodhpur court dismissed a petition seeking entry of media persons in the Central Jail here. The petition was quashed by the court on Tuesday. According to media reports, a total of 29 people including 14 lawyers have been allowed to present inside the courtroom. DIG, Jail, Vikram Singh told news agency PTI that the Magistrate along with court staff, Asaram and co-accused along with the defence and prosecution counsels will be present in the courtroom in jail premises.
No one from the outside will be given permission to enter the court premises that has been set up inside the jail following an order passed by the High Court. The in-camera proceeding has begun and the verdict is expected to be pronounced around 10:30 am. On Tuesday, the court had directed all 29 people to deposit their mobile phones before entering the court premises. The High Court had earlier this month told the administration to set up a courtroom inside the jail premises to deliver the verdict. The decision was taken keeping in the view the violence that had been reported in past.
Meanwhile, security arrangement has been tightened across the three states – Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana as these three states have the maximum number of followers of Asaram Bapu. The Home Ministry has asked the three states to deploy additional security forces for the maintenance of law and order. “We have made all arrangements for the judgment day,” DIG Jail told PTI. The security for the victim’s family was also tightened. “The security for the victim’s family is continuously being monitored… Two more constables will stand guard outside her house in addition to the five policemen already deployed there, and a strict vigil is being maintained on all the visitors using CCTV cameras,” SP KB Singh, Shahajahanpur told PTI.
Asaram Bapu was arrested on the complaint filed by a teenage girl from Shahajahanpur of Uttar Pradesh. The girl was studying at godman’s ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh and had alleged that Asaram had called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013. He was arrested from Indore and brought to Jodhpur on 1 September 2013 and has been under judicial custody since the following day.