Priests apply for anticipatory bail

Sodomy Case

Express News Service/July 12, 2004

Ahmedabad -- Fearing arrests, the three priests of the Swaminarayan sect, accused in the sodomy case, moved an anticipatory bail application in the Gujarat high court on Monday.

However, the court did not admit the bail plea as Justice A L Dave said: "The matter will not be taken before me," and scheduled it for Tuesday.

Appearing on behalf of the three priests, senior advocate Tushar Mehta, in the plea, stated that Mukund Swami, Avinash Swami and Shanti Swami, who have been accused in the case, will cooperate with the investigations and also report before the Kalupur police soon.

On July 6, 2004, a case was registered against the three sadhus when a 12-year-old boy lodged a police complaint alleging that the swamis had lured him into a room in the temple premises on the pretext of offering sweets and sodomised him.

The Kalupur police are yet to make any arrests and are reportedly awaiting FSL reports to ascertain if the teenaged boy was sexually assaulted.

A resident of Maninagar, the boy has currently been sent to a remand home by the police.

He has also alleged that he was sexually assaulted by the same group of priests, a few months ago.

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