Self-styled godman Asaram who was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a minor girl has sent a mercy plea to the Rajasthan Governor, seeking dilution of the punishment, reported PTI. In his mercy plea, Asaram cited his old age and sought respite from the “gruelling” punishment.
On April 25, Asaram was held guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in one of his ashrams five years ago. Challenging the sentence, Asaram had moved Rajasthan High Court on July 2 but the petition is yet to be listed for hearing.
Kalyan Singh, the Governor of Rajasthan, has sent the plea to the home department seeking a detailed report on it. The department has forwarded the petition to the Jodhpur Central Jail administration, which, in turn, has sought a report from the district administration and police.
“We have received Asaram’s mercy plea. We have sought a report from the district administration and police on this mercy plea,” Superintendent of Jodhpur Central Jail Kailash Trivedi said. After receipt of this report, the jail administration will send it to the Director General (Jail) of Rajasthan.
The Jodhpur court also handed 20 years in jail to each of Asaram’s two aides, Sanchita alias Shilpi and Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, for helping him in the crime.
The 16-year-old girl had said in her complaint that Asaram had called her to his ashram in the Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013. He was also said to have threatened the girl not to disclose what had happened. Asaram was held in September 2013 and has been lodged in Jodhpur jail ever since his arrest.