SC restrains trial court from verdict in Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s rape case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained a special CBI court in Panchkula from pronouncing its judgement in the trial of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a 14-year-old rape case.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy also issued notice to CBI on a plea seeking statements of two victims who had levelled rape charges against the Dera chief.

“Notice issued to CBI. Trial court will continue with the proceedings but will not pronounce the judgement in the case,” the bench said.

The apex court had on October 4 allowed Dera chief’s plea seeking summoning of a former CBI official, who had recorded the statements of the two alleged rape victims in the case, for his testimony as a court witness.

It had said both parties would appear before the lower court on October 6 to decide the date of hearing for recording of deposition of the former CBI official, after which trial will proceed as per CrPC.

The sect figure-head had said in his appeal filed by Advocate Shakti Singh Dhakray that his right to fair and impartial trial was affected specially when he was denied the statements of two alleged victims as also his plea to examine K L Raina, who was the earlier IO of the case and had recorded the statements of the two women.

The plea said CBI’s refusal in examining Raina as a witness before the trial court had resulted in violation of Singh’s fundamental rights.

The apex court had earlier dismissed Singh’s plea seeking more handwriting samples of an alleged rape victim in the case. The woman who had alleged rape by Singh was an inmate of Ashram of Dera Sacha Sauda at Sirsa in Haryana. While the alleged incident occurred in 1999, the FIR was lodged in 2002.