Ahmedabad | The Gujarat High Court today allowed a Gandhinagar sessions court to conduct the trial of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who is facing rape charge, through video conference from Jodhpur jail.
The Gandhinagar sessions court had written to the high court seeking permission for trial through video conference, as Asaram is lodged in Jodhpur jail in connection with another case of sexual assault. The trial at the Gandhinagar court will start on September 7.
The sessions judge had said that as Asaram could not be physically present, the court should be allowed to conduct the trial through video conference either at Sabarmati central jail or Gandhinagar collectorate, both of which have video conference facility. The registrar general of the high court informed the lower court that the chief justice had agreed to the proposal, and the trial may be conducted at Gandhinagar collectorate.
The sessions court does not have a video link facility. It was specially set up in the court when charges were framed in March. A Surat-based woman had filed a case of rape and illegal confinement against Asaram. He raped her on several occasions when she was living at his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad from 2001 to 2006, she has alleged. Her younger sister has filed a similar complaint of rape and illegal confinement against Asaram’s son Narayan Sai.
In August 2013, Asaram was arrested by Rajasthan Police for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.
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