CBI court dismisses Khatta Singh’s plea to despose against Ram Rahim

Murder cases against Gurmeet Ram Rahim: Former driver of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief to move high court now, had earlier turned hostile.

punjab Updated: Sep 26, 2017 13:08 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Khatta Singh,Gurmeet Ram Rahim,CBI court
Dera chief's former driver Khatta Singh.(HT Photo)

The special CBI court on Monday dismissed the plea of Khatta Singh, former driver of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, to once again depose against the sect head in the ongoing trial in two murder cases.

Khatta Singh had earlier been roped in as CBI’s crucial witness after the dera chief and his men were booked for allegedly killing dera follower Ranjit Singh and journalist Ram Chandra Chattrapati in 2002. He had claimed that he was privy to some meetings in which baba had ordered his men to eliminate Ranjit and Chattrapati.

However, he later turned hostile during the testimony before the court in February 2012, denying any knowledge of the dera chief’s involvement in these cases and accusing the CBI of pressuring him to depose against the self-styled godman.

But days after Ram Rahim’s conviction in the rape case last month, Khatta pleaded before the CBI court, claiming he had turned hostile in the murder cases due to the threat from the baba and his goons. He urged the court to allow him to testify in order to “bring the truth out.”

Even as the CBI counsel favoured his testimony, the court did not entertain his plea. The trial in the two murder cases against the dera chief is now in its final leg

“The ground on which the court dismissed his application is still awaited, but he was an unreliable witness who changed his statement many a time. He has some hidden agenda behind his wish to appear at this belated stage when the murder trials are in their final leg,” Bankim Kulshreshtha, said one of the defence counsel.

Khatta Singh’s counsel Navkiran Singh told HT that they have already applied for the detailed judgment of the court order. “Once we get it, we will file appeal against the order in the Punjab and Haryana high court as we believe that his testimony in both murder cases is vital,” he said

Arguments continue in Ranjit murder case

Meanwhile, arguments were held in the Ranjit murder case where the defence counsel read out the statements of witnesses to prove that the baba and his men had no role in the crime.

Arguments were also held on seven applications moved by three accused seeking further investigations in the case. The matter will again be heard on Tuesday.

The CBI counsel has already completed his arguments, by reading the statements of all the 59 prosecution witnesses, including those who saw the killers flee and the doctor who conducted the postmortem.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 13:07 IST