While granting more time to the trial court, Justice A J Desai said, “It is made clear that in no circumstances, further extension shall be granted.”
The HC had earlier set an October deadline for the trial court. However, the additional sessions judge sent a report on October 18 to the HC informing it that the arguments of special prosecutor have continued for a considerably long time because of the bulky case record.
The sessions judge also told the HC that there are three advocates appearing for different accused persons and they will also need to be heard on merits. The HC was requested to extend to the trial court time till January 31, 2023.
Asaram was arrested in 2013 after a former devotee accused him of rape. His family and a few followers have been charged with abetment. He sought bail from the high court, citing his long incarceration without a single day’s release.
He cited his frail health and advanced age to push his case for bail. The HC has not granted him bail, but ordered that the trial be completed quickly.
Asaram has been sentenced to life imprisonment in a Pocso case in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, and has been in prison since 2013.