Asaram Bapu, the self-styled godman who is currently serving a life imprisonment term in Jodhpur, has requested the Supreme Court of India to grant him bail. He had reportedly appealed for bail on 12 different occasions in the past, with all of them being denied. Fans of the godman have now taken to social media post his fresh bail appeal, and are of the opinion that it was wrong to book him under the IPC’s Section 120B. 

What is Section 120B?

The IPC Section 120B’s first category, which pertains to Asaram Bapu, states that “Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence”.

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Sibal’s opinion on Section 120B

Asaram Bapu fans are quoting veteran lawyer Kapil Sibal’s take on the IPC’s Section 120B. In an August 6 event, while speaking on “Judicial Rollback of Civil Liberties”, Sibal had said that Section 120B is widely used to “trap” innocent people, since one cannot be granted bail if booked under this section.

The 74-year-old also said, “In this country, you are arrested first over frivolous FIRs and then the investigation starts. This is a colonial practice. Law should be such that the investigation takes place before arrest”.

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What are Asaram Bapu fans saying?

Fans of the imprisoned godman are quoting Sibal’s statement, saying that Asaram is also innocent and is being kept in jail without any proof because he has been accused under the aforementioned IPC section. One Twitter user is of the opinion that the victim lied to get Asaram arrested:

Another Twitter user said, “Asaram Bapu Case is a classic example of a law is made where innocent can be easily trapped using Section 120B”. 

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the state of Gujarat in regard to Asaram’s bail appeal, and will hear the case on September 7.