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Dera chief verdict aftermath | Is Ram Rahim in for more trouble?

The violence by followers of Dera Sacha Sauda post-conviction of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh appears to have further complicated matters for him

punjab Updated: Aug 28, 2017 10:32 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim rape verdict,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
A deserted roundabout near the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa on Sunday. (PTI)

The violence by followers of Dera Sacha Sauda post conviction of sect head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh may result in more trouble for him.

Legal experts say ‘surrounding circumstances’ do affect the bail prospects of an accused when an appeal is filed against conviction in higher courts. Singh was convicted of raping two disciples on Friday by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court Haryana in Panchkula. Soon after the judge pronounced the order, followers resorted to violence in Punjab, Haryana and other states. In Panchkula alone 32 were dead in firing on followers by para military forces.

“In totality of circumstances, chances of bail are remote,” noted criminal lawyer and senior advocate, TS Sangha said explaining that in cases where victim is not a minor, the court sometimes consider bail after he is behind bars for one third or one fourth of his jail term.

However, since Singh faces other cases as well and his conviction resulted in violence, “chances of bail are remote”. “The allegations he faces now basically show his influence,” he said, adding this had hit prospects of early bail. In a rape case, an accused is awarded a minimum of seven years of sentence.

“Suppose he gets ten years of concurrent punishment. Had there not been this violence, the court could have considered his bail plea after three or four years. But now the violence, which shows his clout, would also weigh on judges’ mind, while considering his plea and he will have to wait for court’s decision,” another senior advocate, who wished not to be named said.

Singh is also being probed by CBI in an alleged case of castration of 400 followers, murder of a journalist and the brother of a rape victim.

Lawyers say in rape cases, the conviction is not stayed by higher courts ‘ordinarily’ and happens where chances of acquittal are 100% and the case does not appear to be of an “extraordinary” category. “The bail is going to be difficult due to nature of allegations he faces now. What all has happened, an accused can’t get bail easily in these circumstances,” added, senior advocate, Bipan Ghai, another noted criminal lawyer at the Punjab and Haryana high court.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 10:32 IST