The court also gave transit remand of two others arrested along with Sai in the wee hours today from Delhi-Haryana Border by the Delhi Police Crime Branch. (Agencies)
"I grant transit remand of all the three accused for 24 hours which will start from 7 PM," Metropolitan Magistrate Dheeraj Mor said. However, the judge said he will sign the order sheet only if the Gujarat Police will produce the case diary and statements recorded against the accused persons.
While declining the plea of 40-year-old Sai seeking transit bail to appear before concerned court in Surat, the court said there are specific allegations against them and Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Surat has already issued warrants against them.
"They were conceding arrest. It was pointed out by the counsel for the accused that they were to surrender before the court, in pursuance of the CJM's warrant or order. The said submission cannot be separated on the face as there are specific allegations against the accused persons and further the CJM has issued warrants against them. The investigating officer has also submitted that they have already arranged the mode of exit (for transportation to Gujarat) of the accused to the concerned court," the judge said.
"The counsel's arguments are not convincing. However, this court is confining itself to the transit remand," the judge added.
During the hearing in the jam packed courtroom, the Gujarat Police sought 24 hours of transit remand of the three accused - Narayan Sai and his aides Ramesh Malhotra and Kaushal Thakur - to produce them before the concerned court in Surat.
The Gujarat Police told the court that due to law and order problem, they cannot reveal as to how they will take the accused to Gujarat in 24 hours.
Minutes before Sai was to be produced, his supporters clashed with a group of people protesting against him outside the premises of Rohini District Courts. The drama unfolded outside the court premises when around 200 people staged demonstration in support of and against Sai.
During the hearing, Gujarat Police said that the CJM of Surat has already issued a warrant against Sai and he has also been declared an absconder by the concerned court.
Advocate Pradeep Rana, who appeared for Sai, opposed the Gujarat Police's plea claiming that his client has been falsely implicated in the case and he was about to surrender before the court.
"I (Narayan Sai) was to surrender before the court. In order to harm my reputation, they (police) arrested me," Rana said.
He argued that his client should be granted transit bail so that he could appear before the Gujarat court. At this juncture, the court asked Rana, "before I ask police about it, I am asking you as to why he (Sai) did not join the investigation and kept running away? You are saying he has deep roots in the society then why he never joined the investigation?"
Responding to the court's query, the defence counsel said as mandated by the law, Sai tried to get appropriate legal remedy from the courts. "He (Sai) is being victimised. He is actually wondering as to what is going on," Rana said adding that the media has projected his client as a criminal.
To this, the magistrate made it clear to the defence counsel that "courts are not governed by media at all." Delhi Police alleged that Sai was arrested when he was disguised as a Sikh man to evade being caught. He was sporting a red turban and a beard. He was wearing a T-shirt, trousers and a sports jacket, police said.
The Surat police had registered two complaints by two sisters- one against Asaram and the other against Sai – of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges.
Sai's counsel argued that he has been arrested merely on the allegation levelled by the complainant and there was no corroborative evidence which shows his complicity in the case.
"In this case, one woman came out of the blue and said rape was committed. Only on the basis of allegation, this person (Sai) is present in the court. Sai was going to surrender but the police got a tip-off and arrested him," the counsel said.
Sai's counsel also said he was ready to abide by the conditions imposed upon him by the court if transit bail is granted to him.
He claimed that an "innocent person" was being targeted by the police and he knows the reason but he will not disclose it in the open court. "This is the first case where the entire family is accused in a rape case. Even the women are made accused in this case," Rana said.
Arguing on behalf of Sai, another advocate AP Singh contended that the new anti-rape law is being "misused" in this case and it is a political conspiracy to target the Hindu saints. Sai himself told the court that the complainant has come up with this allegation after 9-10 years.
The magistrate, however, made it clear that this court was only concerned with the limited issue of transit remand. "The CJM (Surat) has issued warrant against you after going through all the records. I am concerned with very limited issue here," the magistrate told Sai.
As soon as the proceedings began, the court asked the Gujarat Police as to whether the FIR has been translated from Gujarati to English. After the Gujarat Police said that the FIR is in Gujarati language, the magistrate said, "I cannot read it".
To this, the police official said they would translate it and will tell the court about its content in English
The court also gave transit remand of two others arrested along with Sai in the wee hours today from Delhi-Haryana Border by the Delhi Police Crime Branch.