The Supreme Court on 31st August, Tuesday dismissed a plea filed by religious leader Asaram Bapu, seeking a temporary suspension of his sentence so that he could pursue his medical treatment. He is currently serving a life sentence for the rape of a minor.
The matter was heard by a bench of Justices comprising Justice Indira Banerjee, Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice Bela M Trivedi.
While dismissing the application, Justice Indira Banerjee commented, “Sorry but in this type of situation, taking an overall view, this is not at all an ordinary crime. You will get all your ayurvedic treatment in the prison itself. Mr Singh assures us that you will receive the treatment. Continuing ayurvedic treatment is not a problem and we’ll direct the jail authorities to take care that proper ayurvedic treatment is granted to you.”
Senior advocate R Basant, who appeared on behalf of the convict, said that he was not getting proper treatment in jail and that an interim bail for two months should be considered for allowing him to get the necessary treatment for his ailments.
Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of said that – He’s been getting the best possible treatment in jail and dismissed the plea.
On June 4, a bench composed of Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari issued a notice on the application and had agreed to further assess whether the petitioner could be transferred to an ayurvedic centre temporarily as sought by him.
Rajasthan HC Order
On May 21, 2021, a Bench comprising Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Devendra Kachhawaha of the Rajasthan High Court had instructed the district and prison authorities to ensure that Asaram was given proper medical treatment, nutritious food, and a safe environment in view of his age and medical condition.
The Court had refused to grant him temporary relief of the suspension of his sentence as sought by him through a plea, after examining his medical report submitted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Jodhpur, where he was admitted after he was tested positive for COVID -19.
The Court also rejected the prayer for the establishment of a medical centre in one of his Ashram in Pal Village, Jodhpur for his medical treatment, noting that whenever he was taken out from prison, even on the dates of his trial, his followers would form large congregations which in turn created law and order situations.