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Asaram may not be able to file appeal against rape conviction before Monday

Self-styled godman Asaram may not be able to appeal against his conviction for another two or three days, his lawyers have said. They told reporters that they need more time to go through the entire judgement, which they said is 453 pages long.

The appeal against Asaram’s conviction was expected to be filed in the Rajasthan High Court on Thursday. But his lawyers said they require more time to prepare the case for the appeal.

Asaram was convicted by a special SC/ST court in Jodhpur on Wednesday for raping a teenager in 2013. He has been lodged in the Jodhpur Central Prison. He was designated Qaidi No 130 upon incarceration.

When the judge read out the order convicting him, Asaram had not been able to comprehend it. He had initially been smiling before understanding that he had been handed a life sentence. After this, he broke down and kept asking his lawyers to do something, Zee Media reporters who were present in the court said.

Reports have also emerged that Asaram believed he would not be sinning if he raped someone because he considered himself a ‘brahmgyani’.

Just hours after his conviction, one of Asaram’s ashrams in Maharashtra’s Akola was trashed by members of a right-wing fringe outfit. The boards proclaiming a bus stop named in his honour in Bhopal were also brought down by the local body.

Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He is in judicial custody since September 2, 2013. Final arguments in the Asaram case had been completed by the special court for SC/ST cases on April 7 and the court had kept the order reserved for Wednesday.

Police had ramped up security arrangements at a number of places to prevent any possible incidents of violence, like the ones that had broken out after the rape conviction of another self-styled godman – Gurmeet Ram Rahim of the Dera Sacha Souda.

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