New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday permitted the self-styled godman Asaram to travel to Delhi from Jodhpur jail by air for his check-up by a medical board at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The apex court had earlier ordered the check-up by a medical board on August 11.
On Monday, the bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice N.V. Ramana allowed Asaram to come to Delhi by air as the bench was told that doctors in Jodhpur have advised him complete bed rest and travelling by road would be difficult for him.
Earlier, on August 17, the court had asked Asaram to deposit Rs 1 lakh towards the travel expenses of a medical team that would go to Jodhpur to examine him.
However, the bench on Monday modified its August 17 order after AIIMS told the court that it was not possible for it to send a medical team of doctors to Jodhpur to examine Asaram as they don’t have facilities for a check-up there.
The medical examination of Asaram was ordered on August 11 when he had moved the top court seeking interim bail to travel to Kerala for ‘Panchkarma Ayurveda’ treatment after Rajasthan High Court rejected his bail plea on August 9.
Rejecting Asaram’s bail plea, the High Court had said that this was not a fit case for granting the bail to the accused when the trial is almost at its fag end.
The apex court also rejected his plea for interim bail on August 11.
Once again on Monday, the bench declined his plea for interim bail and also his plea for stay in his ashram in Delhi during his visit for the check-up.
Besides declining to entertain his plea for bail, the bench also brushed aside the self-styled godman’s plea to restrain the media from reporting the court proceedings.
“No we cannot. Why should we gag them? What is there in this,” the bench said taking a dim view of the plea against media.
Senior counsel Raju Ramachandran appeared for Asaram.
Asaram is lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail since September 2, 2013, and is being tried under the provision of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
The 72-year-old Asaram was arrested after a 16-year-old girl lodged a police complaint on Aug 20, 2013, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur.
On an earlier occasion, Asaram was examined by a panel of AIIMS doctors and the medical board had opined that he needed no surgery and could be treated through medications.
The panel of AIIMS doctors had examined Asaram for his neurological aliment Trigeminal Neuralgia.
The apex court on October 15, 2014, had asked the AIIMS to constitute a medical board that would go through the medical papers and reports of Asaram and it required to clinically examine him.
Prior to Asaram being examined by the panel of doctors from AIIMS in January, the self-styled godman was examined by doctors at S.N. Medical College in Jodhpur.
The doctors at S.N. Medical College had said that Asaram was suffering from age-related ailments, including neurological aliment Trigeminal Neuralgia.