High Court grants bail to self-styled godman Sarathi baba

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The Orissa High Court today granted conditional bail to self-styled godman Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Roul in a cheating case.

Justice C R Dash allowed the bail application of Roul, who is facing charges of indulging in criminal activities and cheating people by misusing religious and spiritual practices, under the IPC, SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Arms Act and Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act.

The court asked Roul not to participate in any religious procession, enter his Barimul Ashram or visit Kendrapara district after his release from jail.

It also asked him not to give any religious discourse or address religious meetings or ask any of his followers to do so.

However, on the plea of the Crime Branch that the angry public pose a threat to Roul, the high court allowed him to seek police protection whenever and wherever required.

For this, Roul has to stay in constant touch with the state police and inform it in advance about his visits, the HC said.

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Santosh Roul was arrested by the Odisha Crime Branch from his Barimul Ashram in Kendrapara district on August 8, 2015.

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