Gandhinagar: The local magistrate`s court on Friday committed (transferred) the case of rape against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu to the sessions court here.
Chief Judicial Magistrate JB Parikh ordered "committal of proceedings" and posted the hearing to May 23.
This paves the way for commencement of trial in the sessions court. Since the offence is serious, the case cannot be tried by the magistrate`s court, though it can take cognisance of the charge-sheet.
Asaram`s wife Lakshmi, who has been accused of illegally confining the victim, was present in the court today. Asaram is lodged in Jodhpur jail in Rajasthan in connection with another rape case.
The case here relates to the complaint filed by a Surat-based woman, who has alleged that Asaram exploited her sexually when she was staying in his Ashram from 1997 to 2006.
Her younger sister has filed similar complaint against Asaram`s son, Narayan Sai.
In the present case, apart from Asaram and his wife, their daughter Bharti and four of his women followers have been named as accused.