Witness testifies in Gandhinagar court in rape case against Asaram

Gandhinagar, May 14  A witness on Monday testified in a Gandhinagar sessions court in the rape case trial against self-styled godman Asaram, his son and others.

"As the trial court proceedings are held in-camera, we cannot disclose anything about it as per the law. The court proceedings will continue on Tuesday," counsel R.C. Kodekar said.

Asaram and his son Narayan Sai are accused of rape by two sisters from Surat in Gujarat. 

While the elder sister accused Asaram of sexual assault several times at his Motera ashram in Ahmedabad between 1997 and 2006, her younger sister levelled similar charges against Sai. 

Asaram is lodged in a Jodhpur jail after his conviction for a minor's rape in Rajasthan.

Till date, nearly 30 witnesses have got their statements recorded in court while a few others still remain to do so. The court proceedings are held in-camera due to security considerations vis-a-vis the witnesses. 

Even as Asaram and his son are in jail, six witnesses have been attacked and two of them killed, allegedly by the godman's followers.

Charges against Asaram in the rape case, which was transferred from Surat to Gandhinagar, were framed in March 2016. The Gujarat Police had included the names of Asaram's wife Lakshmi and daughter Bharti in the chargesheet. 

Four other women were named for helping him in the alleged crime.

On April 25, a Special Court in Jodhpur convicted Asaram for raping a minor girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013 and sentenced him to life term till his natural death.