Sarathi Baba granted bail by Orissa HC

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Cuttack: The Orissa High Court here on Monday granted bail to self-styled godman Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Raul in connection with a sexual assault case.

The self-styled godman has been granted bail against a bail bond of Rs. 2 lakh and surety of two bailers. The court has also asked him not to influence witnesses of the case and cooperate in the investigation process. 

This apart, the High court also said that lower court may also keep more condition on his bail.

Following the verdict, Sarathi Baba, who had been lodged in Chowdwar jail for the past three years, will be now released. Earlier, Raul was granted bail by the HC in two cases.

The High Court had concluded hearing of the third case against the self-proclaimed godman on July 17.  A bench headed by Justice Sangam Kumar Sahoo had reserved the verdict.

Raul was arrested on August 8, 2015, by the CID-Crime Branch over sexual exploitation of a woman and her daughter by Raul at the latter’s Barimul ashram in Kendrapara district.

Initially, the CID-CB had registered a case against him on charges of cheating, forgery, wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation. Later, he was also charged under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act.

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