Children’s death: HC blasts panel on Asaram Bapu

The Gujarat High Court, while dismissing on Wednesday Asaram Bapu's petition for not appearing before the Justice (retired) D K Trivedi Commission, has also pulled up the panel saying the "majesty of law could and ought to have been preserved in more dignified manner by the Commission" while dealing with the issue of summoning the father-son duo.

Asaram has been evading deposition before the Commission for over a year and recently moved a petition before HC challenging the panel's decision to reject his application seeking exemption from personal appearance. He had also contended that the panel was asking questions beyond its terms of reference and that it ought not to have summoned him at all.

On November 11, Asaram's son Narayan Sai appeared before the Commission after it started considering the option of issuing warrant against the two. Before Narayan Sai's deposition, Asaram's representatives had also given an assurance to the Commission that he would depose on December 1 but, subsequently he moved HC challenging the Commission's order.

The court had dismissed the petition and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Asaram for moving the "frivolous" petition.

Dismissing the petition, the single-judge bench of HC comprising Justice Paresh Upadhyay also pulled up the Commission for its handling of the issue.

"...from the tenor of the orders passed by the Commission which are on record of this petition,...a picture emerges where the Commission has, on its knees and with folded hands, craved for the convenience of the petitioner and his son to record their evidence before it and this has continued for more than one-anda-a-half year," the court observed in its order.

"Least, it is observed that the majesty of law could and ought to have been preserved in more dignified manner by the Commission. Better late than never. Now when the Commission has asserted to enforce the law, the challenge is made before this court...the merits and method of which is discussed here above," the bench said.

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