Asaram Bapu, who is serving life imprisonment in Jodhpur Central Jail in a minor girl’s rape case, has approached the Rajasthan high court for an interim bail, and better treatment after testing positive for Covid-19.After hearing the plea, the division bench of justices Sandeep Mehta and Devendra Kachhawaha has directed public prosecutor Anil Joshi to seek Asaram’s medical report from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Jodhpur. Asaram was brought to the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital late on Wednesday night from Jodhpur Central Jail where he had tested positive for Covid-19. He is currently at AIIMS because of a lung infection. Along with Asaram, 12 other inmates also tested positive for coronavirus.
Asaram's followers reached the hospital after hearing the news. The administration faced a law and order situation as the swelling crowd went berserk and some even tried to enter the hospital campus. Two female followers were detained as they tried to sneak into the hospital.During the hearing, Asaram’s counsel JS Chaudhary said that the petitioner had many diseases, including heart ailment, and Covid has deteriorated his condition. He pleaded for an interim bail to Asaram, at which, the bench summoned the medical report and scheduled the next hearing on May 13. In August 2013, a minor girl had accused Asaram of raping her at his ashram at Manai village near Jodhpur. Asaram was arrested on September 1, 2013, and sent to the Jodhpur Central Jail. In November 2013, the Jodhpur police filed a charge sheet against Asaram, accusing him of rape, sexual exploitation and human trafficking, apart from offences under the POCSO Act. On April 25, 2018, a special court sentenced Asaram to “life imprisonment till death” in the case. The court also convicted two other accused, Shilpi and Sharad, and sentenced them to 20 years in jail and fined them ₹1 lakh each.