Boys’ death: HC junks Asaram Bapu plea, slaps fine

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition by Asaram Bapu and slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on him for moving a frivolous petition and suppression facts in it.

Asaram had challenged the summons issued to him by the Justice (retd) D K Trivedi Commission for his deposition on December 1 in connection with the deaths of two minor students of the Asaram Ashram-run gurukul in 2008.

The commission is probing into the circumstances under which Dipesh and Abhishek went missing from the gurukul and later mysteriously found dead in July 2008.

Asaram and his son Narayan Sai had been evading deposition before the commission for long. Eventually, Sai had deposed before it on November 11. Asaram was summoned by the commission on December 1 after consultation with his representatives.

However, Asaram challenged the summons at the HC. He contended that he was not a relevant witness before the commission and he should not have been summoned. He also cited his son's deposition and said the panel was asking irrelevant questions beyond the scope of its terms of reference.

Asaram had expressed apprehension that alleged irrelevant questions by the commission might be used to tarnish his image by certain elements.

On Wednesday, a single-judge Bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay did not grant the petition and took a serious view on the aspect of suppression of facts by the petitioner regarding prayers of earlier petition moved by him which was dismissed by the HC in August. In the said petition, Asaram had challenged the summons issued to him by the commission in July. Calling the petition as frivolous, the court imposed a fine on Asaram and dismissed the same.

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