The Rajasthan High Court on Friday said it will hear on September 23 a plea by self-styled godman Asaram for suspension of life imprisonment awarded to him for raping a girl in his ashram in 2013.
The Jodhpur bench of the high court deferred the hearing after the public prosecutor sought time for certain formality in relation to the application.
“We were ready for arguments but the public prosecutor sought 2 weeks time for arguments in the name of certain formalities,” said Pradeep Choudhary, counsel for Asaram.
But rejecting the prosecution prayer for 2 weeks time, the division bench of Justices Vinit Kumar Mathur and Sandeep Mehta listed the matter for hearing on September 23.
This is the second application for sentence suspension by Asaram in the high court after the first plea was withdrawn as not pressed by his counsels in March this year followed by the dismissal of the application by the court.
Before this, the high court has rejected an appeal by Asaram to hear his petition challenging the life sentence on priority basis on the grounds of illness and old age.
“But the court rejected his plea stating that appeals shall now be listed for hearing in the appropriate order of priority as per the custodial period suffered by the accused”, said one of the prosecution counsel P C Solanki.
In March last year, a Jodhpur court had convicted Asaram and two of his associates in a 2013 rape case. He is currently serving a life sentence in the Jodhpur central jail.
Two co accused, Shilpi alias Sanchita Gupta and Sharat had also been sentenced to life imprisonment but both of them are out on bail after the application of sentence suspension by them were allowed.