In a relief to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the CBI special court on Monday allowed his application for the forensic examination of the letter allegedly written by one of the rape victim to him for handwriting analysis.
The letter will be analysed by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Chandigarh, which has been ordered to produce a report by April 18. The findings of the CFSL will be termed as court witness.
The letter, which addresses Ram Rahim as "Pitaji" and extols him, does not have any mentions of rape and therefore forms an important part of defence evidence.
While the rape victim has denied writing any such letter in her cross examination, Ram Rahim has claimed that it was written by the victim on her last day at dera headquarters in Sirsa.
Meanwhile, the CBI special judge RK Yadav -- on his own -- sent an affidavit alleged to be signed by the second rape victim for forensic examination. The affidavit made in 2002 had given a clean chit to Ram Rahim. The rape victim had told the court that she was forced to sign the affidavit.
There are two rape victims in the case, which deals with the alleged sexual exploitation of women followers at the dera.
Ram Rahim had moved an application on May 9, 2009 requesting signature or handwriting specimens of the rape victim for comparison with her disputed handwriting in the letter.
Accordingly, specimens of signature and handwriting of victim were obtained by the court on July 17, 2013. Then an application was moved on November 29, 2014 for forensic examination of the letter for handwriting matching so it could be proved that she was the author.
"We will study the order and if it is required we will challenge it in the high court," said CBI counsel HPS Verma. The CBI had opposed the forensic examination as it claimed that Ram Rahim had produced the letter 8 years after the FIR was filed during the cross examination of the rape victim and had never brought it on record even when he approached the high court and Supreme Court.
CBI claimed that he had not been able to explain as to in whose possession this letter remained during 8 years and why he kept mum about the letter and why the same was not produced before any authority, court or forum.
Status of other cases
Ram Rahim's counsel SK Garg Narwana informed that in Ranjit Singh murder case they were allowed to get 23 witnesses examined. The defence wanted to get 53 witnesses examined out of which the court dropped 12 and the defence itself dropped 18. Besides Ranjit Singh murder case, Ram Rahim is also facing trial for murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.