The Gujarat High Court on December 2 granted furlough to self-styled godman Narayan Sai, convicted in a rape case. Sai had sought release on furlough leave on the ground that his mother is suffering from “life endangering ailments and her heart functions only to the extent of 40 per cent on account of the cardiac arrest”.
The bench of Justice A S Supehia granted Sai one furlough leave subject to the payment of Rs 5,000 as bond.
A Surat sessions court order in April 2019 had sentenced Sai to life imprisonment along with his four aides, including two other female devotees and Sai’s driver. Since his conviction, Sai has moved several applications in court for temporary bail, including in May on the ground of Covid-19 outbreak. All his pleas were either rejected or withdrawn.
In October 2013, a rape case was lodged by Sai’s former devotee with the Surat police. In her statement, the woman said she feared political, financial and muscle power of Sai and his father Asaram Bapu, due to which she could not muster courage to approach police initially. It was when a teenaged girl lodged a complaint of rape against Asaram in Rajasthan that the Surat woman and her elder sister, who were raped by Sai and Asaram respectively, filed a complaint.
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