New Delhi: The special CBI court in Haryana’s Panchkula on Monday sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, along with four others, to life imprisonment in the 2002 Ranjit Singh murder case. A fine of Rs 31 lakh will be levied on Ram Rahim while a fine of Rs 50,000 per person on the other four accused.
Following the sentencing, Dera Sacha Sauda has said it will appeal against the order in a higher court.
Earlier on October 8, the court convicted Ram Rahim and four others in connection with former Dera manager Ranjit Singh’s murder case.
Ranjit Singh was murdered in 2002 in the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda. The Dera chief was sentenced in August 2017 to 20 years of imprisonment in connection with raping two of his women followers and the murder of a journalist.
There are mainly three cases of the period 2002-03 registered against the Sirsa-based Dera chief. In two cases, one related to sexual exploitation of female disciples and the second of the murder of a journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, Ram Rahim has been convicted. The third case is of Ranjit Singh’s murder.
Earlier this month, the Punjab and Haryana high court dismissed a plea seeking transfer of trial in the Ranjit Singh murder case terming the allegations imaginary and based on surmises and conjectures.
The high court bench observed that a mere apprehension trial cannot be transferred and that apprehension must be reasonable and not imaginary. The power of transfer is to be sparingly exercised. Thus, the trial court was granted the power to pronounce judgment, which it exercised on Friday convicting Ram Rahim and four others in the Ranjit Singh murder case.