Will move high court against verdict, says Dera chief’s lawyer

Rohtak (Haryana): Rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will appeal against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court judgment sentencing him to 20 years rigorous imprisonment and Rs 30 lakh fine in two rape cases, his lawyer said on Monday.

Talking to reporters here, the Dera chief’s lawyer S.K. Garg said they had pleaded with the court to take a lenient view in awarding the sentence as the rape cases were old.

“We urged the court that a lenient view should be taken as the case was 18 years old and there was no other case during the period,” Garg said.

He said they also urged the court to give “minimum sentence” in consideration of the social work done by him.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was on Monday sentenced to 20 years jail for the rape and criminal intimidation of two female disciples.

The sect chief has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in each of the two cases of rape. Both sentences will run consecutively.

CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh announced the sentences at Rohtak on Monday. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on the sect chief.

The court had on Friday held the Dera chief guilty of rape and criminal intimidation of the two female disciples in 1999. The complaint in the cases was filed in 2002.