In a jolt to self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, the Supreme Court on Thursday declined to grant interim bail to him on health grounds in connection with a rape case.
The apex court directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to constitute a medical board to evaluate the health condition of Asaram and to submit a report within 10 days.
Asaram has been in jail since August 2013 for allegedly raping a schoolgirl and was arrested after the 16-year-old victim, whose parents were both devotees, lodged a complaint with police.
Two months later Asaram and his son Narayan Sai were booked for allegedly raping two sisters at their ashram in Surat, Gujarat.
Raju Ramachandran, Asaram’s counsel, moved the petition seeking one-two months’ interim bail for the self-styled god man on the ground of his poor medical condition.
Ramachandran said his client was suffering from neuralgia for the past several years and his condition had deteriorated lately.
He claimed that his client could not control his urine and stool, which was ascertained by jail doctor’s report.
The counsel said Asaram needed traditional ayurvedic treatment, which was available at only a few hospitals.
However, declining to grant interim bail, Justice M.B. Lokur said all the court can do is to direct AIIMS to constitute a board to evaluate the medical condition of Asaram.
However, the counsel contended that several medical boards had already been constituted and the medical condition cited before the court was a part of the report by a latest medical board constituted by the high court.
Ramchandra said Asaram’s medical condition was sufficient ground for even a regular bail, which the high court rejected.
He added that the plea for a regular bail would also be filed in the apex court soon.
Though the court was intended to dismiss the petition, it kept the plea pending on the request of Asaram’s counsel for not dismissing the plea till medical the board submits it’s report or the plea for a regular bail is heard.