A plea by Asaram, challenging the age of the minor girl allegedly sexually assaulted by the self-style godman, was today rejected by a court here which also slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on him.
Defence had moved the District and Session Court on Thursday, challenging the age of the victim girl and argued in the court that the girl was not a minor. This was the fifth such application challenging the age of the victim, which has been rejected. Before this, similar applications have been rejected by both the High Court and the Session court. "The court, while citing the decisions of the Supreme Court considering the secondary certificate as a proof of age, rejected the application of the defence filed under Section 34 of POCSO Act challenging the age of the victim girl," Pramod Kumar Verma, prosecution counsel said.
Defence counsel had moved the application on May 1 and cited her pre-school certificate as a ground. "For this, the defence cited girl's pre-school certificate as a ground, which the court refused to accept stating that only secondary certificate was valid as age certificate," said the counsel.
Rejecting the ground of the application and arguments of the defence, Justice Mahendra Kumar also slapped a fine of Rs 5,000. "Every time, when the defence had challenged the age of the girl, it has used the ground not legal. The main objective of the defence behind getting Asaram discharged from the sections under POCSO Act is to pave the way for his bail and bring down the severity of the crime," R L Meena, public prosecutor, said, adding that everytime the defence failed to achieve its objective.