Dera chief moves HC against rape conviction, imprisonment
Chandigarh, Sep 25 (IANS) Jailed Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging his rape conviction by the CBI special court and also sought stay against his imprisonment.
The petition was filed by counsels of the disgraced self-styled godman here. The matter is not yet listed by the court for hearing.
Ram Rahim’s counsel Vishal Garg Narwana said: “We have filed an appeal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today. We have challenged the verdict of the CBI court in the rape case. We have also sought a stay on imprisonment.”
In a separate development, the CBI court in Panchkula on Monday rejected a plea by Khatta Singh, a former driver of the sect chief, who wanted to record a fresh statement in the murder cases against the sect chief.
Ram Rahim, who is currently lodged in the District Jail at Sunaria near Rohtak, was convicted by the CBI court in Panchkula on August 25 on two counts of rape of female disciples in 1999. He was later awarded 20 years of rigorous imprisonment (10 years in each rape case) by the CBI court, and a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.
His conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.
The CBI court in Panchkula is hearing two more cases against the sect chief.
These pertain to the murder of former Dera manager Ranjit Singh in July 2003 and murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati in October 2002.