In a setback to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, a local court on Friday upheld around 10-month-old orders of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bathinda, in which the Dera head was told to appear before a local court on February 22 for hurting Sikh sentiments in 2007 by allegedly wearing an attire similar to that of Guru Gobind Singh.
Additional sessions judge DS Johal dismissed the revision petition by the Dera head against the orders passed by the CJM court on April 2, 2012, in which the Dera head was ordered to appear before the court.
Besides, the application moved by the Bathinda police, demanding cancellation of the FIR against the dera head at Kotwali police station, Bathinda, for hurting Sikh sentiments, was also rejected.
A complaint was made against the Dera head by the local SAD (B) leader Rajinder Singh Sidhu on May 13, 2007 for allegedly hurting Sikh sentiments. The police had registered a case against the dera head.
The case had been in the cold storage for long until the Bathinda police suddenly moved an application in the court of the CJM to cancel the FIR against the Dera head claiming that there were no proof that any religious congregation was held at Slabatpura in May 2007 in which the Dera head wore the attire of the Sikh guru.
This application was moved by the Bathinda police just three days before the Punjab assembly elections in January 2012. However, the application came into the public domain only a few days after the elections.
Sikh bodies opposed the move by the Bathinda police and approached the local court. The CJM not only rejected the cancellation report by the police but also issued summons to the Dera head to appear before the court.
The Dera head went to the court of the Bathinda sessions judge against the orders of the CJM and the revision petition was transferred to the court of the additional sessions judge.
"The court of additional sessions judge DS Johal on Friday upheld the decision of the CJM. The court has told the dera head to appear before the CJM court before February 22," said Jatinder Rai Khattar, advocate for the Sikh bodies.
It has been the second time in the last one year when the Dera head's attempt to come clean on the allegations of hurting Sikh sentiments has been foiled.
According to sources, now the Dera head can move the Punjab and Haryana high court to avoid personal appearance in the local court on February 22.