Asaram's son, Narayan Sai, gets life term in rape case

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 April 2019 (18:42 IST)
Surat: A district and sessions court here on Tuesday awarded life sentence and Rs one lakh fine to Narayan Sai, the son of self-styled godman Asaram, in a sensational and sexual assault case lodged over six years ago by one of the lady disciples of his father.
Three of his disciples, who had abetted him in the crime, including two women, Ganga and Jamuna and one Hanuman have been handed down 10 years jail terms and Rs 5,000 fine each. One R Malhotra, who drove Sai's vehicle during his absconding period, has been given six months jail. All the convicts can appeal in the High Court in 60 days time.
 
No mercy
During the hearing on the point of quantum of punishment today, Counsel of Sai, citing various earlier orders of the High Court and the Supreme Court requested clemency as the case was filed years after the alleged incident. He also pleaded that the said victim was adult at the time of incident and no force or temptation was used. The public prosecutor, on the other hand, sought maximum punishment for the culprit and also compensation for the victim. The Judge rejected the pleas.
 
The court of district and sessions judge, Pratap Gadhvi, had held Sai and four other accused, including two woman and one man disciple, guilty on April 26, Friday. The court had acquitted six of the total 11 accused.  He had been held guilty under section 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 354 ( assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty ), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 114 (presence of abettor in the crime) of the IPC.
 
Former disciples of his father,  Ganga and Yamuna (both women) and Hanuman and one R Malhotra who was driving his car when he was on the run after lodging of the case have also been held guilty.
 
On the run
 
Narayan Sai, 40, was arrested from Pipli near Haryana's Kurukshetra in December 2013 after two sisters from filed rape complaints against him and his father in October that year in Jahangirpura police station here. The younger sister had alleged that Sai had repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her while both of them were residing at Asaram's ashram. She was living between 2002 and 2005 in Asaram Ashram here .
 
The case against Asaram by the elder sister was transferred to Ahmedabad as the place of occurrence in her trial was Ahmedabad Ashram of Asaram situated in Motera area of the city. She had accused Asaram of raping her several times in the 1997-2006 period. The case is being heard by a court in Gandhinagar.
 
Sai was lodged in the central jail in Lajpore here since his arrest six years ago. He was on the run for almost two months after the filing of the case. Sai was also made an accused in a sensational bribery case allegedly involving policemen to weaken the cases against him and his father. In September last year, his estranged wife, Janki, had lodged a complaint of harassment against him and Asaram in a police station in neighbouring Rajasthan. She had alleged that he had also married to one of his disciples.(UNI)
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