Haryana

Sirsa Dera Chief Gurmeet approaches HC against CBI court’s verdict

September 25, 2017 09:21 PM
Dera Chief Gurmeet in different postures

 Chandigarh: Challenging the special CBI court’s verdict that convicted him in a rape case, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has moved to Punjab and Haryana High Court, said his counsel on Monday. “We have filed an appeal today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Through this, we have challenged the order of the CBI court,” defence counsel Vishal Garg Narwana said.

The ordeal of the women in Gurmeet’s dera in Sirsa came to light on the basis of a letter addressed to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Haryana CM and host of other top institutions. The Sadhvi accused that baba raped her and other sadhvis in dera and also pleaded for an inquiry.

 

He said the CBI verdict has been challenged on several grounds. “One of the grounds was that there was a delay of more than six years in recording the statements of the women (victims) by the CBI after the incident,” the defence counsel said. 

The CBI had claimed that the two women followers were sexually exploited in 1999 and the agency recorded their statement in 2005, Garg said. He alleged that the CBI had also concealed some portion of the victims’ statement. 

Earlier, the CBI court held Gurmeet Ram Rahim guilty of rape and criminal intimidation and sentenced him to 20 years, 10 years each separately in two rape cases. The judge ruled that the Dera chief did not deserve “sympathy of the court” since his victims had placed him “on the pedestal of ‘god’ and revered him” but “he did not even spare his own pious disciples and had acted like wild beast”. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s actions, he said, reflected “irreparable damages caused… to the heritage of this ancient land”. 

The judge also ordered a compensation of Rs 14 lakh each to the two victims. “Such criminal acts of a particular convict who is stated to be heading a religious organisation known as Dera Sacha Sauda… are bound to shatter images of pious and sacred spiritual, social, cultural and religious institutions existing in this country since time immemorial, which in turn reflects irreparable damages caused by the acts of the convict to the heritage of this ancient land,” the judge said in his order. 

The ordeal of the women in Gurmeet’s dera in Sirsa came to light on the basis of a letter addressed to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Haryana CM and host of other top institutions. The Sadhvi accused that baba raped her and other sadhvis in dera and also pleaded for an inquiry.

In December 2002, the CBI registered a case of rape, criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim. The CBI filed a charge sheet against the Dera head in Ambala court in July 2007. The charge sheet mentioned the sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ between 1999 and 2001. In September 2008, the special CBI court framed charges of rape and criminal intimidation against Ram Rahim.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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