Sirsa Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh held guilty of rape

To be taken to Rohtak jail in a chopper; Army deployed in Panchkula

Panchkula, August 25

The special CBI court here on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case dating back to 2002. The quantum of sentence would be announced on August 28.The Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC under which he has been convicted attract a minimum of seven years in jail.The orders were passed by special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh. The Dera head, dressed in a white kurta-pyjama was present in the courtroom with folded hands when the orders were passed.CBI counsel HPS Verma confirmed this, saying the Dera head would be taken in a helicopter to Rohtak jail.Meanwhile, a team of doctors has arrived in the district court to conduct a medical examination of the convict.

 

The court, on August 17, after the conclusion of arguments and submission of case laws, had announced that it would pronounce the judgment on August 25.The allegations against Ram Rahim were that he sexually abused and exploited two ‘sadhvis’ residing in a hostel located on the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda at Sirsa.The Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 24, 2002, handed over the case to the CBI to investigate the case against the Dera chief on charges of having raped two ‘sadhvis’, or female followers, on the campus of the sect on the outskirts of Sirsa in 2002 after anonymous letters addressed to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the then chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court made the allegation.The CBI submitted a chargesheet on July 30, 2007. The court framed charges against Singh under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code onSeptember 6, 2008.After the examination of prosecution witnesses and evidence, the dera head’s statement was recorded under Section 313 of the CrPC in 2014.Ram Rahim had told the court, “I am innocent. I had never raped anyone. Since 1990, I am not medically or physically fit to do sex with anyone. I am not potent.” Thereafter, the case was posted for defence witness.

Timeline
2002: Anonymous letters addressed to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the then Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, allege sexual exploitation of women followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa
September 24, 2002: The Punjab and Haryana High Court hands over the case to CBI
July 30, 2007: CBI files chargesheet against the dera head
September 6, 2008: Special CBI court frames charges against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC
April 5, 2011: Special CBI court shifted from Ambala to Panchkula; the case also transferred to the Panchkula CBI court
August 17, 2017: Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh reserves verdict for August 25

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