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Supreme Court reprimands Gujarat government for slow progress in Asaram Bapu case

The Supreme Court today rapped the Gujarat government for the slow progress in the Asaram Bapu case. It may be recalled that Asaram Bapu was a self-styled godman, just like Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted today and sentenced to 20 years in jail by a special CBI court. In Asaram Bapu case, the Supreme Court questioned the Gujarat state government about why the rape victim has still not been examined. Taking a strong stand against the slow pace of trial in Asaram Bapu case, a Supreme Court bench comprising justices N V Ramanna and Amitava Roy directed the Gujarat government to file an affidavit, explaining the reasons for the slow pace of trial. The bench also announced that it would hear further proceedings in the case post Diwali.

Earlier also, in April, a bench comprising of the then Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, had asked the Gujarat government to expedite the case. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represents the state government, said that 29 prosecution witnesses have already been examined, but statements of 46 witnesses still need to be recorded. Asaram Bapu is facing trial for rape and illegal confinement. Earlier, he had appealed for bail citing his deteriorating health, but the same was denied by the court.

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