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Asaram Bapu case: Defence concludes cross-examination of girl

Friday, 13 June 2014 - 6:59pm IST | Agency: PTI

The defence today concluded cross examination of the teenage girl, who has levelled sexual assault charges against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

Counsels of the co-accused along with Asaram's lawyer had questioned her in the court during the last two-and-a-half months. "The defence completed the examination of the girl today.
She is now free to go home," said her counsel Pramod Kumar Verma.  He said the entire period of the examination was a "traumatic phase" for the girl as she had to recall the incident and reply to biting questions of the defence.

The cross-examination had started from March 25, but due to a number of revision petitions, various applications and prayers for adjournment by the defence, the examination of the girl kept on lingering. 

On May 14, one of the Asaram's lawyers had quit citing personal reasons leading to which the court had slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the defence as no other lawyer was ready to further the proceedings.

After that, a counsel of Asaram moved an application under Section 311 of the CrPC pleading to re-allow the arguments. "Finally, after the determination of the court to continue with the trial and slapping of a fine of Rs 10,000 on Asaram, the matter progressed," public prosecutor R L Meena said. He said the girl will now be free from the taxing regular visits of the court. "Now she could heave a sigh of relief as her examination is completed," he said, adding that she remained determined during the entire process of examination and did not let her emotions take over.

So far, five prosecution witnesses have testified, including two ASIs of Kamla Market police station of Delhi and two doctors, who had examined the girl and prepared a report, and the victim herself.

On the next hearing, which starts from June 23, manager of the farm at Manai where the alleged incident took place will be examined.

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