The Gujarat high court on Thursday granted conditional bail of three weeks to Narayan Sai, son of self-proclaimed godman Asaram, who has been behind bars for more than a year in connection with a rape case filed against him by a Surat-based woman.
Justice Paresh Upadhyay granted the relief to Narayan, who has been lodged in a Surat jail since his arrest in December 2013, to enable him to attend to his ailing mother Lakshmiben Harpalani.
The bail order will be applicable from May 4, the judge said, adding Narayan will be under the police surveillance during the bail period and state DGP will deploy an officer for this purpose.
Narayan had said in his plea that his mother had been suffering from a spinal cord-related ailment and that doctors at Ahmedabad’s Sterling Hospital had suggested surgery.
The woman had accused Narayan of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living at his Surat ashram, following which he was booked under various sections of IPC including rape, unnatural sex, molestation, wrongful confinement.
Interestingly, the elder sister of the victim had lodged a separate complaint against Narayan’s father Asaram accusing him of repeated sexual assault between 2001 and 2006 when she was living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
Lakshmiben was also booked by police for abetment, but was later granted bail by a local court in 2013.
Asaram is currently lodged in a Rajasthan jail since his arrest in September 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram.