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Gurmeet Ram Rahim and 4 others sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case

Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim along with four others sentenced to life imprisonment in a 19 year old murder case.

A special CBI court in Panchkula, on Monday, awarded Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others in a 19 year old murder case of former manager of the organisation, Ranjit Singh. The other accused in the case are Avtar Singh, Krishna Lal, Jasbir Singh and Sabdil Singh. One of the accused, Inder Sain, died during the trial in 2020.

The court of special CBI judge Dr Sushil Kumar Garg on October 8 had held Gurmeet Ram Rahim and 4 others under Sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Further, Sabdil Singh and Jasbir Singh were held guilty under the Arms Act. Special CBI judge Sushil Kumar Garg observed that dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s social welfare activities cannot absolve him from criminal liability and awarded life imprisonment. 

In his detailed judgement, the judge said, “Social Welfare activities could not absolve accused Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh from his criminal liability, for, the law does not permit any person to take away the life of anybody and then to plead leniency on the ground of social welfare works done by him or at his instance.” The court also ordered Ram Rahim to pay a Rs 31 lakh fine. The other convicts will also pay fines- Sabdil has been told to pay Rs 1.5 lakh, Krishnan and Jasbir must pay Rs 1.25 lakh each and Avtar must pay Rs 75,000. Fifty percent of the amount will go to Ranjit Singh’s family. A sixth accused in the case died a year ago. 

The case dates back to 2002  in which the victim was shot dead by four assailants on July 10, 2002, at his native Khanpur Kolian village in Kurukshetra district. According to the CBI charge sheet, the dera chief had suspected that he was behind the circulation of an anonymous letter, highlighting sexual exploitation of his female followers in the dera. As per the statement of Khatta Singh (Dera chief’s former driver and prosecution witness) before the court, on June 16, 2002, he had hatched a conspiracy to kill him.

The victim’s son expressed satisfaction over the verdict in the case.

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