Rape case against Ram Rahim | Victims stood by statements like rock: CBI special court | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Rape case against Ram Rahim | Victims stood by statements like rock: CBI special court

There is no contradiction or inconsistency in their statements, stated the court, which relied mainly on the victim’s statements for conviction of the dera chief, in its over 150-page verdict.

punjab Updated: Aug 30, 2017 09:12 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim rape verdict,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Gurmeet Ram Rahim.(HT File)

While holding Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of raping two disciples, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court said both the victims stood by their statements like “rock” and their credibility could not be “impeached.”

Despite lengthy sessions of cross-examination, the victims consistently maintained that they were ravished by the dera head. There is no contradiction or inconsistency in their statements, stated the court, which relied mainly on the victim’s statements for conviction of the dera chief, in its over 150-page verdict.

Ram Rahim was awarded a 20-year jail term by CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh on Monday. He was convicted on August 25 for raping the two disciples more than 15 years ago.

“The (initial) reluctance of the victim in not reporting the matter to the police can also be appreciated in the light of the fact that they were christened as sadhvis by the accused and they treated Ram Rahim like God. Therefore, the incident of rape upon them by the accused was no less than horrific shock. Moreover, any believer, more so a person christened as sadhvi by the chief of the dera, would be the last person in the world to level false allegation against such revered personality and therefore testimony of both the victims inspires full confidence,” the court said, discarding the argument of Ram Rahim that there were mitigating circumstances for the women to report crime late.

The rapes were reported between 1999 and 2002 and the victims came forward only after the CBI started probe in December 2012.

The court also did not accept Rahim Rahim’s argument that there was no recovery of revolver and blue movie, as cited by the victims.

The court also did not accept the argument of the dera head that the author of the letter, which carried allegations of rape, has not been established. It was after this letter that CBI started a probe and these two women came forward, it said.

The CBI had started probe into allegations of sexual exploitation by the dera head following an anonymous letter in 2002.

The court also said that Ram Rahim could not produce any evidence to prove that he was being implicated in the case by rival deras.

To the argument that Ram Rahim treated all sadhvis as daughters and there was congenial environment at the dera, the court said rapes are not committed in open space and the offender invariably commits such acts behind closed doors.

The court can also take judicial notice of the fact that various studies reveal that in majority of the cases of sexual assault, the perpetrators are known persons and therefore, no head of a dera would ever openly indulge in acts of sexual assault, it said.

To the argument of the dera head that none of them ever testified that the accused took off his clothes, the court termed it “absurd” and said it does not warrant discussion.

Regarding the argument over lack of medical examination, the court referred to the Supreme Court judgment that if the evidence of victim is found to be trustworthy and credible, then lack of medical examination can’t be held against prosecution.

Dismissing the argument raised by the dera head that he was incapable of having sex since 1990, the court took note of the fact that two daughters were borne out of his loin. One of them was a student of fifth grade in 1998 and second one of 8th in 1998. The very fact speaks volumes about the virility of the accused, the court said adding that it remains unsubstantiated and it was incumbent upon him to adduce evidence, it said.

RAM RAHIM RAPE CASE Despite lengthy sessions of cross-examination, the two victims consistently maintained that they were ravished by the dera head, says court in its 150-page verdict

QUOTE1 The (initial) reluctance of the victim in not reporting the matter to the police can also be appreciated in the light of the fact that they were christened as sadhvis by the accused and they treated Ram Rahim like God.
CBI special court

QUOTE2 Any believer, more so a person christened as sadhvi by the chief of the dera, would be the last person in the world to level false allegation against such revered personality and therefore testimony of both the victims inspires full confidence.
CBI special court

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 09:12 IST