The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Honeypreet Insan, the "adopted daughter" of the now-jailed Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
"The plea is without merit. Honeypreet has been evading arrest in Haryana," ruled Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal on the plea moved earlier in the day by Honeypreet, who apprehended a threat to her life in Haryana.
"Keeping in the view the facts and circumstances of the case that the applicant (Honeypreet) till now has evaded arrest, discretionary relief should not be granted," the court said.
"It appears that the application is not bona fide and has been filed with a view to gain time."
The court said that the prayer of Honeypreet's counsel Pradeep Kumar Arya that protection is granted to her so that she may approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court is without merit as Honeypreet had the liberty to avail the remedy before the competent court.
Arya had told the bench that she is willing to join investigation but wants protection from arrest, requesting his client be granted three weeks transit anticipatory bail so that she can move the high court for anticipatory bail as soon as situation calms down there.
She cannot join investigation as the atmosphere is not good in Haryana and even intelligence report revealed that there is a threat to her life. He also noted that a Deputy Inspector General of Police in Haryana has also expressed that there is threat to Honeypreet's life.
Appearing for Delhi Police, advocate Rahul Mehra said that the city police will take care of her protection if she surrenders. However, he raised the issue if she was a Delhi resident, saying she had not submitted her actual address in her bail plea.
The counsel representing Haryana Police opposed the plea, saying her anticipatory bail plea is only maintainable in a state court as she is a permanent resident of Sirsa.
At this, Arya argued that she stayed in Greater Kailash whenever she visits Delhi and currently she is unsafe in Haryana.
The court asked counsel whether she can surrender herself here or before Haryana Police and then reserved its order.
Early in the morning, Arya mentioned her bail plea before a bench headed by the high court's Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal for early hearing. The matter was then transferred to single judge bench of Justice Sehgal.
The Haryana Police on Tuesday morning conducted raids in the national capital in a bid to arrest Honeypreet and Aditya Insan, another close aide of the Dera chief.
A court in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, had on Monday issued arrest warrants against Honeypreet, Aditya and Pawan Insan after all three were booked by the Haryana Police on charges of sedition, inciting violence and being involved in the conspiracy to help the Dera chief escape after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court convicted him on August 25 on two counts of raping female disciples in 1999.
Honeypreet, in her mid-30s and the Dera chief's closest aide since 2009, is on the run since August 25, hours after Ram Rahim was convicted. Police is on her trail for nearly a month and raids have been conducted Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana as well as Nepal.
Honeypreet, who used to claim that she was Ram Rahim's "adopted daughter", starred as the main heroine in five films he directed, produced and acted in, in three years.
Last week, Honeypreet's former husband, Vishwas Gupta accused her and Ram Rahim of having illicit relations and said their father-daughter relationship was a sham to fool followers.
Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.
His conviction led to violence in Haryana's Panchkula and Sirsa, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several places in Punjab.