by Tanya Vashistha
On previous Sunday Gujarat government decided to release 1200 prisoners on parole, who could be susceptible to the novel corona virus outbreak and this will be done with the help of judges of local courts.
“Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has informed the home ministry which will prepare the list of convicts, under trials who can be released on parole and interim bail respectively, as required”
Looking at the scenario, the so-called godman Asaram also moved a bail application in Gujarat high court this Monday, apprehending easy susceptibility to the deadly corona virus due to his old age. Asaram (age 84) is currently in jodhpur central jail, sentencing his life imprisonment in relation to a rape committed by him while he was on a authoritative position, apart from this he is also under a trial of sexual assault before the court of Gandhi Nagar.
Asaram said that ‘due to his old age and various other ailments he will be more vulnerable to COVID-19 which is prevailing in the state, his counsel Poonam Chand Solanki, also pleaded in the court of law that Asaram’s case would be fit to grant temporary bail for decongestion of prisoners.
In opposition to the statement of defendant the state’s counsel argued that ‘looking at the grievousness of the offences committed by Asaram and the previous denial of the regular bail applications by the supreme court, this application of temporary bail should not be accepted, abd bail should not be granted.
“considering the seriousness of alleged offences, the earlier applications for regular bail of applicant have not been granted by this court and by the apex court, and therefore, the present application for temporary bail should not be entertained,” was argued by the state
Taking the note of the same the Gujarat high court consisting of single judge bench of justice Bela M. Trivedi, accepted that Asaram does not qualify the category of prisoners to be released on temporary bail, as per the instructions of supreme court.
In the said case, it has been recommended by the top court that those under trial or remanded prisoners be released on interim bail that are facing charges that stipulate a term of up to 7 years only. Asaram on the other hand, has been booked for committing rape while remaining on an authoritative position, under section 376(2) (c) of IPC, which prescribes imprisonment of not less than 10 years.
The high court said that “the case of applicant also does not fall under any of the categories mentioned in the guidelines issued by the high power committee constituted pursuant to the order passed by the Supreme Court… it also appears that this regular bail applications were not granted by this court as well as by the Supreme Court”.