Indian court gives life sentence to guru, 14 followers

Law & Politics

A court in northern India sentenced a Hindu guru and 14 followers to life imprisonment on Tuesday in the deaths of four women and a child at his sprawling ashram.

The court ordered the penalty for Sant Rampal in Hisar city in Haryana state, where authorities deployed hundreds of riot police in anticipation of violence by the guru's thousands of disciples in response to his sentencing.

Rampal, 67, was arrested in 2014 following a days-long standoff between law enforcers and his supporters in which six people died and hundreds were injured. At the time, Rampal was wanted for questioning in a 2006 murder case and had repeatedly ignored orders to appear in court.

Rampal and the 14 followers were accused by police of holding the four women and child captive inside the ashram, resulting in their deaths from a lack of food and medicine as the fierce standoff continued. The court is expected to announce sentences in the death of a fifth woman on Wednesday.

Hindu gurus and holy men are immensely popular in India, with millions of followers. People often consult gurus before making important personal decisions. But the enormous power wielded by some has led to scandals in which they have been accused of exploiting devotees.

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A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
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• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
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Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.

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