The CBI special court here on Saturday dismissed the application of new witness Gurdas Singh Toor for allowing him to depose against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
Chhatrapati was murdered on October 24, 2002, allegedly for reporting illegal activities inside Dera, as per the CBI case. Along with Ram Rahim, the other accused in the case are former Dera manager Krishan Lal, and Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh, both carpenters at Dera Sacha Sauda.
On Saturday, CBI special judge Najar Singh ruled that Toor was not the informer/complainant or a victim of the alleged criminal act of the accused. He added that Toor did not assume the status of a party to proceedings and had no locus standi to apply for his examination as a court witness.
The judgment said that Toor did not approach CBI and filed his statement along with an affidavit through a private counsel for his examination as court witness after the gap of nine years. It added that there was nothing on record that the applicant had earlier approached the CBI or the court to be examined as a witness in the case and there was no reason why the investigating officer would suppress the material witnesses for disclosing the facts regarding the culprits involved in the case.
The CBI, in its reply, submitted, "That during investigations by the CBI, the applicant Gurdas Singh Toor had never been examined as witness and he had also not volunteered to make any statement. However, the court has ample powers to call, examine, re-examine or summon any person, witness or record if it is essential in the interest of justice."
On the other hand, Ram Rahim submitted, "After more than nine years of the alleged occurrence this false application has been moved by applicant (Toor) with an ulterior motive. The alleged statement is totally false and without any substance." He added, "The petitioner is being financed by politicians, drug mafia and anti Dera Sacha Sauda outfits."
Khatta Singh, former driver of Ram Rahim, had earlier turned hostile in the case. Earlier, he had stated that Ram Rahim ordered the killing of Chhattarpati in his presence. He had also turned hostile in Ranjit Singh murder case, in which also Ram Rahim is an accused.
Sirsa resident Gurdas Singh Toor alias Bittu submitted in his application that five days prior to death of Chhatrapati, he had heard Ram Rahim directing Kuldeep Singh to kill Chhatrapati. Nirmal Singh was also present there at that time, Toor claimed.