New Delhi: Supreme Court rejected the interim bail plea of self-styled religious figure Asaram Bapu on Monday, who is facing trial in rape cases, on health grounds and asked him to get his treatment done in Rajasthan in judicial custody itself. A bench of Justices AK Sikri and NV Ramana said if Asaram wanted to undergo treatment, he could get the diagnosis done at AIIMS, Jodhpur or at Rajasthan Ayurvedic hospital while staying in judicial custody.
The apex court’s direction came after Asaram said he wanted to undergo ayurvedic treatment in Delhi for which he needed one month’s interim bail. “If you (Asaram) want ayurvedic treatment, you can get that it in Rajasthan itself. There is no need for interim bail as AIIMS medical board has also said that the health condition is stable,” the bench said.
Counsel appearing for Rajasthan government said they were ready to provide all possible treatment to Asaram at the hospitals in the state. The bench, however, clarified that Asaram’s supporters should not be allowed in the hospital and none of his followers should meet him.
The court said it will hear the plea for regular bail of Asaram in November. On October 18, the apex court had sought Rajasthan government’s response to Asaram’s bail pleas and said it will first deal with the interim bail and then regular bail. Earlier, a medical board of All India Institute of Medical Sciences had told the apex Court that the health condition of Asaram was stable. Asaram had refused to undergo several tests, the seven-member board had also said in its report filed before the bench of Justices AK Sikri and NV Ramana.
On August 11, the apex court had denied interim bail to Asaram in a rape case and directed AIIMS to set up a medical board to ascertain his health condition before taking up his regular bail plea. Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur Police on August 31, 2013 and has been in jail since then. On August 9, the High Court had rejected his bail application in the rape case. A teenage girl had accused him of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl, who belonged to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student living in the ashram.