70-year-old self-styled godman who is also known as ‘Falahari Maharaj’ was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Alwar court in Rajasthan on Wednesday for allegedly assaulting a 21-year-old woman.
The controversial baba was arrested on September 23, 2017, after the victim accused the 70-year-old ‘godman’ of sexually assaulting a woman at his Alwar-based ashram on August 7.
The sentencing came exactly a year after the arrest of the soi-disant guru in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh the baba identified as Falahari Baba, whose real name is Swami Kaushlendra Prapannachari, and he is believed to be surviving on fruits, and so got his name.
He was charged under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code for rape and 506 for criminal intimidation. On September 20, he was arrested last year following which he was made to undergo a virility test for forensic investigation.
His room and the ashram were thoroughly raided and the police confiscated CDs, laptops, gadgets other than the CCTV camera footages. A charge sheet was presented by the police and in the court in October 2017. In order to dodge his arrest, Maharaj had gotten himself admitted to a private hospital once the woman had filed a police complaint against him.
Originally hailing from Chattisgarh’s Bilaspur, the complainant had visited the ashram on August 7, 2017, after landing herself an internship on completion of her studies.
According to police, the woman had gone to meet the godman who is believed to live on a fruit-only diet at the ashram on August 7. However, his followers asked her to stay the night because he could not meet anybody during an “eclipse”. The godman dropped by her room at a late hour and sexually assaulted her.
Despite being warned against approaching anybody, the woman decided to break her silence when another popular spiritual leader–Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was taken to court for alleged rape. Falahari Baba was arrested soon afterwards, and laptops, CDs and CCTV footage acquired from the ashram were sent for forensic tests.
The Alwar police filed a chargesheet against the godman after conducting a thorough investigation, which included making him undergo a virility test.
Before his arrest, the godman had made multiple attempts to prevent being taken into police custody. He even checked himself into a private hospital, saying that he had come down with high blood pressure. However, a medical examination by a government doctor revealed that all his health parameters were normal. (Source- NDTV)
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