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Pleas of Dera chief, rape victims admitted by High court

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The and High today issued a notice to the while admitting separate pleas filed by the Dera Sacha Sauda chief challenging his 20 -year sentence in rape case and that of the two victims seeking life imprisonment for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

As the case came up for hearing today, a division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sudhir Mittal also directed Ram Rahim's counsel to deposit Rs 30 lakh as fine, which was imposed by the special on Ram Rahim, with a within two months.


"The revision filed by rape victims for enhancing the sentence to life imprisonment for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been admitted," victims' counsel Navkiran Singh here today.

The counsel for Dera sect chief S K Garg Narwana also said, "the has also admitted our appeal (challenging the conviction)."

Both the pleas will now be heard together.

Narwana said, "The high has also directed us to deposit fine with a in the shape of FDR through the within two months. If our appeal is finalised in our favour, then we will get back money with interest."

The jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had moved the and High on September 25, challenging the order of the special of Panchkula which had sentenced him to 20-year-imprisonment for raping two disciples.

The order was challenged on several grounds including delay of more than six years in recording the statements of the victims by the

Two rape victims had also moved the High on October 4, seeking life imprisonment for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

"In this case, the Dera sect chief was considered as 'Pita Ji' (father) by his followers. Victims were under emotional and physical custody of Dera chief and he broke their trust and misused his position as a religious and spiritual leader. Therefore, we sought life imprisonment instead of 20-year-sentence," counsel Navkiran Singh said.

Ram Rahim was convicted by the special on August 25, following which violence and arson had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa districts which left 41 people dead and left scores injured.

Ram Rahim is currently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak district.

In April 2002, an anonymous letter was written to the then Chief justice of and High Court, complaining about alleged sexual exploitation of woman followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa.

Then in May 2002, the High directed Sirsa district and sessions judge to probe the allegations in the letter. In September 2002, the high had handed over the matter to the after the district indicated possibility of sexual exploitation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 09 2017. 14:22 IST
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