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Why did the Jodhpur police conduct a potency test on Asaram?

Why did the Jodhpur police conduct a potency test on Asaram?

Asaram has claimed that he is incapable of committing the offence he has been charged with, but the test may prove otherwise.

New Delhi: Facing charges of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl at his ashram, self-styled godman Asaram had to face further humiliation when the Jodhpur police carried out a potency test on him at the SN medical college after taking him into custody.

This test, done as part of the medical examination of an accused in a sexual assault case, forms part of the scientific evidence collected by the police. Section 53(A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 lays down guidelines for conducting such an examination.

"When a person is arrested on a charge of committing an offence of such a nature (sexual) and alleged to have been committed under such circumstances that there are reasonable grounds for believing that an examination of this person will afford evidence as to the commission of an offence, it shall be lawful for a registered medical practitioner, acting at the request of a police officer not below the rank of sub- inspector, to make such an examination of the person arrested."

The test on the accused involves a physical examination to determine his ability to reach a state of arousal. The test determines if the accused is in a physical state to achieve penetration. It is a tool used by the police in cases of rape. However, in Asaram's case it is still unclear if there was rape or just molestation and so it remains to be seen how the Jodhpur police use this bit of evidence.

Asaram who is 72-year-old has claimed that he is incapable of committing the offence he has been charged with, but the test may prove otherwise. Deepak Maseeh, Criminal Lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court, says that the results will make the case against Asaram stronger.

"By virtue of section 53 of the CrPC the police have the power to carry out such an examination and it proves that Asaram's defence of being incapable of such a crime is false. It also establishes that the accused is not being truthful and is engineering defences. In the court the police will now try and establish that Asaram is not being completely honest and this test will form a strong part of the medical evidence against him. Which is significantly important in such a case," he said.

Meanwhile, Ajaypal Lamba, DCP of Jodhpur police refused to divulge details of the Potency report saying it will be presented in court. He also denied reports that Asaram is unwell.