The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday issued notices to the Punjab government and Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on a petition challenging a Bathinda court order in the alleged blasphemy case.
The notices were issued by the bench of justice Surinder Gupta while fixing May 5 as the next date of hearing.
Petitioners Jaspal Singh and Hardeep Singh have demanded quashing of the order passed by Bathinda sessions judge, which approved the FIR cancellation report in August 2014.
In the FIR registered in 2007, the dera head was booked under sections 295-A, 298 and 153-A of the Indian Penal Code for hurting religious sentiments by allegedly depicting and acting in the manner of Guru Gobind Singh and administering ‘Jaam-e-Insan’ in the same manner in which the Sikh guru gave ‘amrit’ to his followers.
The case was registered on the complaint of one Rajinder Singh. In June 2007, the Punjab government had also given its nod to prosecute Ram Rahim. The petitioners have alleged that the dera head later used his influence to force the state government to delay the investigation. The duo has also alleged that when the state government found itself engulfed in the case, an affidavit was filed on behalf of Rajinder Singh, which said he was not present at the congregation in question and the complaint was filed on the basis of media reports. The police had then filed a cancellation report in January 2012. According to the duo, the complainant had later told the court that he had not signed the affidavit. The district and sessions judge, however, had accepted the report submitted by the state government, which sought dismissal of the case.