Rape trial against Ram Rahim: Dera Sacha Sauda chief files another plea for examining IO
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Saturday moved another application to examine former CBI deputy superintendent of police (DSP) SS Sandhu, who was chief investigating officer (IO) in the rape case against him, as court witnesspunjab Updated: Mar 19, 2017 11:56 IST
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Saturday moved another application to examine former CBI deputy superintendent of police (DSP) SS Sandhu, who was chief investigating officer (IO) in the rape case against him, as court witness.
CBI special judge, Haryana, Jagdeep Singh, issued notice to CBI on this application. There are two alleged rape victims in the case.
In his plea, Ram Rahim said he earlier wanted to examine inspector Sat Narain as he had recorded statements of two rape victims when the allegations surfaced. But Sat Narain died in 2011 and the CBI also produced his death certificate. He told the court that as Sandhu was heading the investigations and Sat Narain was reporting to him, so he needed to be cross-examined on statements of the two alleged rape victims in police diary.
The dera chief, through his counsel SK Garg Narwana, submitted before the court that when Sandhu was examined initially, he was not aware of Sat Narain recording statements of the victims in the police diary.
Earlier, Ram Rahim had filed an application to examine another former CBI DSP KL Raina, who was once IO of the case, which was dismissed from the CBI court as well as the high court. But then he moved the apex court and got a favourable order. He told the CBI court on Saturday that it was during deposition of Raina that it came out that Sat Narain had also examined the alleged victims.
The matter pertains to recordings in case diary till June 2003.
CBI counsel HPS Verma said all the recent applications were just a delaying tactics of Ram Rahim.
The case is at the stage of final arguments though the high court had put a stay on pronouncement of final judgment which was lifted after three months on March 15.
In 2002, anonymous letters stating that sadhvis at the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda were facing sexual exploitation were circulated following which the CBI registered a case on the orders of the high court in 2002.
HC’s observation on the matter
On March 15, Ram Rashim’s counsel SK Garg Narwana had submitted in the Punjab and Haryana high court that the order made by the trial court judge (while rejecting his application for calling former CBI Inspector Sat Narain) contained several reasons and since he proposed to make one more application with the trial court, reasons recorded by the trial judge might come in his way even for his next prayer relating to some other officer.
Justice AB Chaudhary said, “In my opinion, no one can prevent the petitioner (Ram Rahim) from going on filing the applications and therefore there is no good ground in law for doing so. That apart, the reasons/observations made by the trial court in the impugned order shall be treated to have been made only in relation to the application qua Inspector Sat Narain and nobody else. Trial court is therefore free to take decisions according to law. Needless to say that the findings regarding Inspector Sat Narain and observations made in the impugned order shall not come in the way of the petitioner in relation to any other officer.”