SC questions Gujarat over slow pace of Asaram trial
The Supreme Court on Monday once again questioned the Gujarat government over the slow pace of trial of self-styled godman Asaram in a case of alleged sexual assault on a woman during her stay at one of his ashrams in the state.
Asking why the victim has not been examined till now, the bench of Justice N.V.Ramana and Justice Amitava Roy asked the Gujarat government to file an affidavit stating the position.
The court posted the matter for further hearing after Diwali holidays.
In the course of the last hearing of the matter on April 12, the top court bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar (now retired), Justice D.Y.Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had directed the Gujarat government to "expedite the examination of witnesses as may be practically feasible".
The top court's response came as it was informed that 29 prosecution witnesses have been examined andAanother 46 were remaining.
Granting time as sought by the state government, the court had said: "Expedite the trial and not linger it."
The trial relates to a complaint by a victim alleging that Asaram had sexually assaulted her between 2001 and 2006, when she was living in his ashram in the state.
The victim's younger sister has filed a similar complaint against Asaram's son Narayan Sai.
Asaram, 72, is lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail since September 2013 following his arrest the previous month for for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl in his ashram in the Rajasthan city. He is undergoing trial under the provisions of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act in this case. - IANS