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Narayan Sai seeks bail in bribery case

Self-styled godman Asaram’s son Narayan Sai has sought bail from a special court in connection with a bribery case on the ground of delay in trial and parity with other accused.

Sai, who has been behind the bars in a rape case filed by a Surat-based woman, submitted the bail plea on Tuesday in the special court for Anti-Corruption Bureau cases through his advocate Kalpesh Desai. He is accused of offering bribe to police officers and others to weaken the rape case filed against him.

The bail plea says the trial of the bribery case has not commenced even after one year since the FIR was registered and it is not likely to begin in the near future. It further says that since other accused in the case were granted bail by the Gujarat High Court, Sai should also get the relief.

Advocate Desai said the bail plea is likely to come up for hearing before Special ACB court judge N B Pithwa on Thursday. The police had in February last year filed charge sheet in the alleged bribery case and named 11 persons, including Sai, his personal secretary Uday Sanghani and sub-inspector C K Kumbhani, as accused.

Surat-based builder Ketan Patel, Dhiraj Patel, Hasmukh Upadhyay, Naresh alias Rupaalbhai, Bhavesh Patel, Hitendra Vaghela, Bhadresh Patel and K D Patel were also named in the charge sheet. Charges were framed against all of them on June 9.

Sai was arrested for repeatedly sexually assaulting one of the two Surat-based sisters, who was the inmate of his ashram in Surat between 2002 and 2005. It was during Sai’s remand period (in connection with the rape case) that the Surat city crime branch had unearthed a plan to bribe policemen, doctors and even judicial officers to dilute the rape case.