The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court, Haryana, on Saturday dismissed two more applications of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for examining three witnesses in his favour in the rape case. The court observed that Ram Rahim wanted to obfuscate the issue and they couldn’t review or revise their own order dated November 15.
The CBI special judge, Haryana, RK Yadav had on November 15 ordered that 28 defence witnesses had already been examined and just one more witness, Tek Chand Sethi, would be allowed in the rape case against Ram Rahim as it pointed out that he was delaying the trial.
Despite this, on November 29, the dera chief submitted another application to examine four more witnesses, which was also dismissed. On the conduct of Ram Rahim, the court observed, “The act and conduct of the accused goes to reflect that he wants to cast an impression that law has given him helping hand to play orchestra by examining various witnesses. It appears in such type of condition that whenever accused is allowed to play trumpet, he shows his willingness to play drum.
Likewise, when he is allowed to play drum, he chooses not to play drum and request to play trumpet…” It added that the accused wanted to show his “disguised bonafide which in fact is not bonafide act on the part of the accused”.
The rape case against Ram Rahim was registered in 2002 involving two victims.
“Two applications were moved by the dera chief on Saturday. One was to examine Inder Sain, an accused in the Ranjit Singh murder case, as defence witness, which was dismissed. Inder Sain used to be manager of girls’ hostel at Dera Sacha Sauda. Another application to examine two sadhvis (female followers) Binder Kaur and Navneet Kaur has also been dismissed,” informed CBI counsel HPS Verma.
After the CBI orders of November 15 and November 29, the dera chief had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court against them.
During the hearing on Friday, justice Daya Chaudhary had asked the dera head’s counsel to bring a list of those witnesses out of a total 98 witnesses, which he thought ‘relevant’ and added that the court would examine it. The next date of hearing in the case in the high court is on December 10. Meanwhile, fresh non-bailable warrants have been issued against defence witness Tek Chand Sethi as he did not appear in the CBI court on Saturday.
November 15 order
While massively curtailing the list of defence witnesses of Ram Rahim, the court had commented, “…when accused is adopting delaying tactics and trying to play ducks and drakes, the court cannot be a dumb spectator to allow the accused to circumvent the procedure of law”.
The prosecution had closed its evidence on September 3, 2013, and both the victims stood by their allegations of rape by Ram Rahim. There were 15 prosecution witnesses in this case. 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. The chargesheet was filed on July 30, 2007, in the case.