Asaram’s son gets life imprisonment in rape case

Surat: A court here on Tuesday sentenced Narayan Sai, the son of self-styled godman Asaram, to life imprisonment in a 2013 rape case. The sessions court, which had convicted him on Friday, also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him.

Three of Narayan Sai’s aides – Ganga, Jamana and Hanuman – who were also convicted in the case, were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 each. His driver was given five years in jail with a fine of Rs 500.

Narayan Sai’s lawyer told reporters after the sentencing that they would appeal in the high court for his release on bail within next 60 days.

Two charge sheets were filed against 35 persons in the case, while the prosecution had produced 53 witnesses and the defence 14 witnesses. Narayan Sai was arrested in December 2013 from Pipli near Haryana’s Kurukshetra after two sisters from Surat filed rape complaints against him and his father Asaram in October that year. They had lodged separate complaints against the two.

His father, Ashumal Harpalani alias Asaram, was convicted last year for raping a minor girl in Rajasthan and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Jodhpur court.

One of the sisters had accused Narayan Sai, who also claims to be a godman himself, of repeated sexual assaults when they were living at Asaram’s Surat ashram between 2002 and 2005. Police had booked Narayan Sai on charges of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other offences.