In a rare development, the statement of an accused will be recorded under Section 313 of CrPC through video conferencing. The benefit has been given to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim in a rape case, due to security issues.
During the recording of this statement, Ram Rahim would have been put to extensive questioning regarding the incriminating evidence that has so far come up against him.
After the CBI special court, Haryana, on September 17, 2013, had dismissed an application of the Panchkula police for allowing the recording of statement of the dera chief through video conferencing, the police had approached the high court against it. The high court then allowed the appeal of the Panchkula police on January 28.
In the HC, Panchkula DCP Ashwin Shenvi had submitted about violent incidents involving Ram Rahim, such as his cavalcade was targeted in February 2008 at Karnal where he escaped a bomb blast and in June 2008, during his visit to a mall in Mumbai one protester was killed during an altercation between Sikh protesters and dera followers.
There are two rape victims in the case. In 2002, anonymous letters addressed to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court were circulated that alleged sexual exploitation of female followers in Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa.
The HC had ordered the then Sirsa sessions judge to look into the matter and the latter in his report submitted on September 3, 2002, said the possibility of sexual exploitation could not be ruled out. On September 24, 2002, justice Adarsh Kumar Goel handed over the case to CBI.
Accused bail plea dismissed
The CBI special court on Saturday dismissed the bail application of Kuldeep Singh who allegedly shot at journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. Along with Ram Rahim and Kuldeep Singh, the other accused in the Chhatrapati murder case are Krishan Lal and Nirmal Singh. The CBI alleged that Chhatrapati was shot at on October 24, 2002, for writing against illegal activities inside the dera.
"The court has also allowed our application for calling Asha Shrivastav, working with CFSL, Delhi, as a witness, who conducted the polygraph test on sub-inspector Ram Chander who allegedly did not write the dying declaration of Chhatrapati against Ram Rahim," informed HPS Verma, counsel for the CBI.