India

Asaram cases: SC seeks Centre’s response on plea for CBI probe

Asaram cases: SC seeks Centre’s response on plea for CBI probe

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought the response of the Centre and five states on a plea seeking a CBI probe into the alleged murder of children through black magic and attacks on ten witnesses in Asaram Bapu rape cases.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and A M Sapre while issuing notice to the Centre, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments, said that it is the high time that issue of witness protection needs to be dealt with. The four petitioners are — Mahinder Chawla, a witness in a rape case involving Asaram, Naresh Gupta, the father of a murdered witness, Karamvir Singh, the father of a child rape victim and Narender Yadav, a journalist who allegedly escaped a murder attempt. They have filed the plea seeking CBI probe into the matters.

“A very dangerous scenario has emerged which attacks the heart of our constitutional rights and freedoms, where the rich and powerful accused openly subvert the rule of law and pollute the streams of justice by murdering, attacking and threatening witnesses with impunity. “Recently several witnesses in the Asaram Bapu and Narayan Sai rape cases were killed, attacked or went missing under mysterious circumstances,” the plea said.

The petitioners also sought directions from the court to the Centre and states for central forces’ protection to the witnesses who have been attacked.

The petition filed through advocate Utsav Singh Bains said that a CBI probe is needed on the attacks on the witnesses and into “the murder of a child by black magic by Narayan Sai and Asaram in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, into the mysterious deaths of two children at the Motera Ashram of Gujarat and two more children at Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh”.