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The Court Commissioner who oversaw the sanitisation process of the Sirsa headquartered Dera Sacha Sauda that led to unearthing of two secret tunnels, today submitted its report to the full bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court here. Meanwhile, the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate sought time till the next date of hearing for submitting its status report on any violations by the Dera. The full bench comprising justices A G Masih, Surya Kant and Avneesh Jhingan was hearing a PIL filed by Panchkula resident Ravinder Dhull, a lawyer, who was concerned over the law and order situation in his town. After Court Commissioner AKS Pawar today submitted two reports, including one on the sanitisation process, the bench passed directions to supply its copies to the parties in a pen drive, advocate Navkaran Singh said. The court commissioner was appointed by the high court to oversee the sanitisation process of the sect premises. The three-day-long exercise from September 8 to 10 had led to the unearthing of two secret tunnels, an illegal firecracker factory and an unlicensed skin bank. Petitioner Ravinder Dhull while talking to reporters said the videography of the sanitisation process would not be made public until the bench takes a decision on the same. Dera's counsel S K Garg Narwana said he had raised an objection that the videography should not be made public. He said the educational institutions being run by the Dera Sacha Sauda had started functioning in Sirsa. The bench also asked Sirsa Superintendent of Police Ashwin Shenvi, who was present in the court, to file a comprehensive report after he told the bench that the police did not rule out the possibility of removal of assets and other articles from the Dera headquarters from August 25-27. The SP said the priority of the security forces, including police, was to maintain law and order in Sirsa after violence erupted when the Dera sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping his disciples on August 25. Dhull said the court also asked the SP to state in his report whether the police was able to stop removal of goods from the Dera from August 28 to September 8. Notably on the last date of hearing in September, the bench had asked the Haryana government to clarify if any property was moved out from the Sirsa-based headquarters before the sanitisation process. Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain, who is representing the Centre in the case, said the bench gave permission to the Income Tax Department and the ED to file status report on examination of the Dera assets and of violation of rules on the next date. "We told the court that the IT and the ED were investigating the matter and they seized documents.
We urged the court the strategy and investigation (of IT and ED) conducted so far can be leaked if we file status report today. We sought from the court to allow the IT and the ED to file status report on the next date," he said. Jain said the court fixed the next date of hearing for December 20. On the last date of hearing, the highh court had directed central agencies--the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate--to examine the Dera Sacha Sauda sect assets and check for violation of rules under the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The bench also asked the special investigation team of the Haryana Police to file a status report regarding what efforts were made to arrest those who were still evading the arrest and also conspiracy,if any, hatched by Dera activists to trigger violence on August 25. Advocate Navkaran Singh sought from the Haryana government the status of the case pertaining to violence that had occurred in Panchkula on August 25. Singh said the Haryana government told the court that six persons out of the 22 missing from the Dera were traced. Over 40 persons were killed and scored were injured in incidents of violence after the Dera chief was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula for raping his two disciples on August 25. The CBI court later awarded 20-year sentence to him.
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