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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Saturday, opposed the list of 98 defence witnesses put forth by Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
"It is a tactic to delay the judgment of the court in the case. It is a long list of 98 witnesses. Our submission was that the long list of defence witnesses was produced so that the judgment does not come in the near future," said HPS Verma, counsel for CBI in the case.
"The CBI has taken close to seven years in recording a few witnesses. On the other hand, if we take close to five months more in recording our defence witnesses, what is the big deal," argued SK Garg Narwana, counsel for Ram Rahim.
There are two rape victims in the case. The prosecution has closed its evidence and both the victims stood by their allegations of rape against Ram Rahim. After that, on February 11, Ram Rahim's statement was recorded under Section 313 of the CrPC wherein he was put to questioning on evidence against him.
In his statement, he had refuted the allegations of rape and claimed, "Since 1990, I am not medically or physically fit to have sex. I am not potent."
In 2002, anonymous letters addressed to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court were circulated, alleging sexual exploitation of female followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa. On September 24, 2002, justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had handed over the case to the CBI.