A Gujarat court on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram, to life imprisonment in a rape case filed against him by a former woman devotee in 2013. The Surat sessions court had convicted Narayan Sai on Friday under IPC sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 323 (assault), 506-2 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (conspiracy).
The 40-year-old Narayan Sai has been fined Rs 1 lakh and also asked to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim.
Besides Sai, the court sentenced his three aides, identified as Dharmishtha alias Ganga, Bhavna alias Jamuna and Pavan alias Hanuman, to 10 years each in jail after holding them guilty of various offences. Narayan Sai's driver Ramesh Malhotra was sentenced to six months in prison, who was held guilty under IPC section 212 (harbouring an offender). Of the total 11 accused, the court had acquitted six on April 26.
In 2013, two Surat-based sisters had accused the self-styled godman Asaram and his son of sexual exploitation when they lived at the ashram. The elder sister had accused Asaram of sexual assault between 1997 and 2006 when she lived at his Ahmedabad ashram. The younger sister accused Narayan Sai of assault when she lived at his father's ashram in Jahangirpura area of Surat between 2002 and 2005.
Surat Police had filed a 1,100-page charge sheet against Sai in 2014 after an FIR was filed against him.
Narayan Sai was arrested from Delhi-Haryana border in December 2013 and was later lodged at the Lajpore Jail in Surat since then. He was also accused of bribing police personals with Rs 13 crore while in prison.
Narayan Sai's father, Asaram was arrested in 2013 and was convicted with his two associates in a rape case. He is serving a life term in Jodhpur jail.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar