Asaram Bapu’s plea challenging life term in rape case

Jodhpur: The Jodhpur High Court on Monday rejected a plea filed by self-styled godman Asaram Bapu challenging the life imprisonment sentence imposed on him for raping a minor girl.

Advocates Shirish Gupte and Pradeep Chaudhary, representing Asaram, argued that the victim was not a minor and their client should not have been convicted under provisions of POSCO Act.

Dismissing the petition, a special bench of Justices Sandeep Mehta and Vineet Kumar Mathur, said the trial court had already established that the girl was below 18 years age at the time of the crime.

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On August 20, the high court had adjourned the hearing on the petition.

Asaram was found guilty of raping a minor girl in Manai village near Jodhpur on August 2013. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in April last year by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court.

Asaram is currently lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail.

He was found guilty of various charges, including sections 370(4) (trafficking), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354A (outraging modesty), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and some sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The court had also sentenced two other accused, Shilpi and Sharad to 20 years jail term each in connection with the case.

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