Asaram asks for special food, court orders medical examination
District and Session Court (Rural) passed the order while hearing an application by Asaram seeking facilities like special health food, bed, 'Gangajal' and some other articles for carrying out prayers in the jail.
The application was submitted to court by 72-year-old Asaram, who is in judicial custody following his arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, after it was rejected by the jail administration.
Counsel for Asaram Maninder Singh told the court that he has been suffering from a "serious disease" for the past 14 years, which he refused to disclose, and has been consuming some special food to keep his health. "He is not able to take the jail food," he argued.
Opposing the plea, counsel for prosecution L R Bishnoi said Asaram has been consistently examined by a team of doctors in jail and has been found to be fit in every report. "Hence there is no need of any special diet as per his requisition and he can easily go with routine jail meal," the counsel argued.
Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas posted the matter for September 10 with the direction that Asaram be examined by a medical board in order to arrive at any conclusion about his health. Asaram's troubles appear to be mounting with his ashram in Delhi being slapped with a notice by a municipal corporation for alleged non-payment of property tax since 2004.
"Yoga Vedant Samiti, a three-acre ashram run by Asaram at Upper Ridge Road in Karol Bagh area, was served notice on September 4 for non-payment of property tax," a senior North Delhi Municipal Corporation official told PTI.
During a situational survey of the ashram on September 2, the municipal officials had found commercial activities were being carried out there. Meanwhile, mystery surrounds a letter purportedly written by Asaram and addressed to the court, in which he sought permission to allow a woman therapist to treat him two hours daily for some disease, with his lawyers saying that they were not aware of any such request.
"We need to check the veracity of this letter, about which we have learnt only from the court," said Asaram's counsel Singh adding, "we have our doubts about this letter".
Jodhpur Police, which is probing the sexual assault case, today said it has dispatched teams to the Ahmedabad ashram of the self-styled godman to collect evidence. It said many people, who claimed to be "victims", have started coming forward with their complaints against the self-styled godman and they are exmaining them. Police, however, denied reports that it is in possession of any CD or video clippings given by Asaram's aide Shiva.
"We have not received any such CD or video clipping so far showing bapu or any of his activity. We have obtained some evidences out of interrogation of Shiva and are in the process of its verification," DCP Ajay Pal Lamba said.
Lamba said they are yet to interrogate Shilpi, the warden at the Chhindwara Gurukul where the girl was studying and an important link in this case as she allegedly sent the girl to Asaram. "She is on our radar and we will arrest her at an appropriate time," he said, adding Asaram's driver and cook will also be interrogated. Police will also cross examine Shiva and Shilpi and if needed.