HC acquits Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of murder | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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HC acquits Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of murder

May 28, 2024 12:27 PM IST

The Dera chief, who is often in the news for frequent paroles, will remain in prison as he is serving a 20-year prison sentence for raping two disciples in 2002

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday acquitted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of murder. A bench of justices Sureshwar Thakur and Lalit Batra pronounced the acquittal even as a detailed order was awaited.

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (HT PHOTO)
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (HT PHOTO)

The Dera chief, who is often in the news for frequent paroles, will remain in prison as he is serving a 20-year prison sentence for raping two disciples in 2002. He was also convicted in another murder case of a journalist.

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A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula sentenced the Dera chief to life in prison in 2021 for plotting the murder of his former follower Ranjit Singh in 2002.Four assailants shot dead Ranjit Singh on July 10, 2002, at Khanpur Kolian village in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district.

The CBI claimed Ranjit Singh was murdered as the Dera chief suspected that he was behind the circulation of an anonymous letter about the sexual exploitation of the latter’s woman followers. It said Ranjit Singh was in June 2002 summoned to the Dera and threatened with dire consequences. The agency said he refused to seek pardon, saying he had done nothing wrong.

In his appeal to the high court in December 2021, the Dera chief argued the trial court erred in not considering the inconsistencies and contradictions in the account of the prosecution. He argued he should have been given the benefit of the doubt.

The Dera chief said the testimonies of prosecution witnesses were contradictory. He added the prosecution failed to establish facts beyond “reasonable doubt”.

The Dera chief was also been convicted of the 2001 murder of Sirsa journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who reported about the wrongdoings inside the Dera. He was sentenced to life in this case. Punjab Police have named the Dera chief as a key conspirator of the 2015 sacrilege cases in the state.

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