Security Heightened Across 4 States Ahead Of Court Decision

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Heavy police bandobast has been deployed with cops from Special Task Force deputed at all entry points to prevent the sadhaks from entering the city, considering incidents of violence by the sadhaks in the past and violence in Panchkula when another godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted a year ago.

The police have already imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Penal Code in the city, which will be in force till 30 April. Asaram rape case verdict live updates here.

Asaram was represented in the court by eminent lawyers such as Ram Jethmalani and Subramanian Swamy.

Asaram is accused of raping a teenage girl from Shahajahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, who was studying at the godman's ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. Asaram had several high profile followers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajasthan chief minister, Vasundhara Raje Scindia and other top BJP leaders frequently paying visits to his ashram in the past. Accused of trafficking, Asaram was arrested on 31 August, 2013.

Thereafter, he was then brought from Indore and jailed in the Jodhpur Central jail since 2013.

Asaram is also being tried in Surat in Gujarat in a separate rape case, in which the Supreme Court earlier this month said the prosecution should complete the trial in five weeks. He has denied the charges. He is under judicial custody since September 2, 2013.

The charge sheet against Asaram and four other co-accused - Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad, and Prakash - was filed by police on November 6, 2013, under various sections of POSCO Act, Juvenile Justice Act, and IPC.

Early 2014: Trial begins in the Jodhpur rape case. Over the years, witnesses in the case have also feared attack. He dies of bullet injuries.

According to the court's order, the Central Jail Superintendent and the district administration have been directed to make all arrangements for proceedings inside the jail for the pronouncement of the judgment.

13 May 2015: Mahendra Chawla, Asaram confidant till 2006 and prime witness against Sai in one of the cases, fired at by two bikers in Panipat. Four days later, a key witness, Kripal Singh was shot at by two motorcycle-borne people in Shahjahanpur.

March 2016: Kartik Haldar, a henchman of Asaram, arrested by Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Raipur in Chhattisgarh.

January 1, 2015: A seven-member AIIMS medical board examined Asaram following a SC directive in connection with his bail plea. All of Asaram's previous bail petitions had been rejected.

The judge in the case has been provided stringent security ahead of the judgement today.

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