Court rejects Asaram plea seeking media restraint

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Jodhpur, September 24:  A local court on Tuesday rejected a petition of controversial godman Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, seeking a direction restraining media from reporting on the issue.

72-year-old Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur police after midnight from his ‘ashram’ in Indore on August 31. He is currently in Jodhpur jail under judicial custody. District and Sessions Court (Jodhpur) had completed hearing on the petition on September 20 and had reserved the order for Tuesday.

In his petition, Asaram had sought restraint on the media reporting of the issue on September 6. His counsel Pradeep Choudhary had argued in the court that media reports were derogatory and had maligned Asaram’s image.

“The investigative agency should not be allowed to leak, pass or share any information to the media in relation to the case,” he had said in the plea.

Prosecution lawyer Manish Vyas, however, told the court that media had not disclosed the identity of the victim thereby complying with the section 23 of CrPC. He also said that there was no evidence that probe agencies have disclosed any detail to the media.

After hearing the arguments, Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas rejected the petition.

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