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Supreme Court denied special leave, granted by High Court to Narayan Sai

Legal Correspondent: Tiasha Sinha Ray

October 20, 2021:- On October 20, Supreme Court denied 2 week furlough, granted by Gujarat High Court to rape accused Narayan Sai. He is the son of Indian Spiritual Guru Asaram Bapu, who was arrested for raping a 16-year old girl in 2013, and is currently serving a life sentence. Also two sisters from Surat brought charges of sexual abuse against the "self-styled Godman" Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai on 2013. The elder sister had brought charges of sexual harassment against Asaram Bapu between 1997 and 2006 when she was staying at his asaram in Ahmedabad. On the other hand, the younger sister had lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against Narayan Sai while she was staying at Asaram Bapu's ashram in Jahangirpura area of Surat between 2002 and 2005. In December 2013, Narayan Sai was arrested from Delhi- Haryana border. Not only Sai, the court had sentenced each of his three accomplices, including two women to 10 years imprisonment in Lajpur Jail on 2013. On April 26, 2019 Sai was convicted under Indian Penal Code sections 376, 377, 323, 506-2 and 120-B by Surat Court and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also fined Rs. five lakh. While Sai was in Jail, Surat police claimed that they had found a detailed plan to bribe police officers, doctors and even judicial officers to weaken the case against him.

Supreme Court on 20th October canceled the furlough which was granted by High court to Sai. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna allowed the Gujarat government's appeal challenging the High Court's June 24 order to grant furlough to sai. The apex Court also said that the furlough depends on various factors and it is not an absolute right. The Jail superintendent gave a negative opinion due to a mobile phone being found from Sai's cell. Supreme Court stayed the Gujarat High Court's order granting Sai a two - week furlough on August 12. The top Court, on the plea of Gujarat government, issued a notice to Sai challenging the June 24 order of the single - Judge of the high court and stayed it till further orders.

A Single bench of the High Court on June 24, 2021 ordered Sai to be released on furlough for two weeks, but division bench adjourned it till August 13 and then the state appealed to the apex court challenging the June 24 order.

It said that Sai and his father were arrested for the crime of rape and that they exerted considerable influence with money and muscle power.


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